Production Details / Press Releases
Stepping out of the limelight and taking it easy as the years go by? Not for Valda and Gus! Being a dancer is a way of life, not just an occupation. With Valda Setterfield and Gus Solomons Jr., Eszter Salamon and Christophe Wavelet have brought together two of the legends of dance. Their lives are associated with influential art scenes, dance personalities and important historical developments: Valda Setterfield studied under Marie Rambert, danced with Merce Cunningham and Yvonne Rainer, worked with Robert Wilson, Brian De Palma and Mikhail Baryshnikov, and was a cofounder of the Pick Up Performance Co(s). Gus Solomons Jr. was also a dancer with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. From 1996, with his artistic collective PARADIGM, he has been promoting the visibility of older performing artists. Located between fiction and history, the second part of Eszter Salamon’s series about the relation between choreography and history draws on a series of interviews with these two exceptional performers to question the currents of time, memory and testimony.
Eszter Salamon is a choreographer, dancer and performer. Her works have been presented in a performing arts and visual arts context worldwide. Eszter Salamon’s work revolves around choreography, which she uses as a way of navigating between different media: video, sound, music, text, voice, bodily movement and actions. In 2014 the piece “MONUMENT 0: Haunted by wars (1913–2013)” premiered in Kampnagel Hamburg and was presented at the Festival d’Avignon in July 2015. Her exhibition “Eszter Salamon 1949” was presented in 2015 at Jeu de Paume in Paris. In the same year Eszter Salamon was invited by Cullberg Ballet to restage her her influential group piece “Reproduction” (2004) in a new version: “Reproduction (2015)” and premiered her piece “MONUMENT 0.1 : Valda & Gus”, developped in collaboration with Christophe Wavelet. Eszter Salamon danced with Sidonie Rochon, Mathilde Monnier and François Verret among others. She is artist-in-residence at Centre National de la Danse, Pantin from 2015 to 2017.
Valda Setterfield (born in 1934) is a British born dancer and actor. She has worked with Woody Allen, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Merce Cunningham, Richard Foreman, Brian DePalma, David Gordon, Ivo van Hove, Marie Rambert, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Wilson. She was a member of the Pick Up Performance Company since it was founded. In 1994, she danced in “A Thin Frost” by Gus Solomons Jr. and participated in other projects of the company Paradigm. She has worked at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York, New York Theatre Workshop, at Dance Theatre Workshop, PS 122, Danspace Project, Soho Rep., The Public, A.R.T., A.C.T., the Adirondack Theatre Festival and the Marc Taper Forum. She has received an an OBIE award for her career and in 1984, a New York Dance and Performance Award (a.k.a. “Bessie”), then a second Bessie in 2006 for the exceptional nature of her career.
Gus Solomons Jr (born in 1940) is a dancer, choreographer, dance critic and accomplished actor. He is a key figure in the American postmodern dance. In particular, he danced with Martha Clarke, Pearl Lang, Donald McKayle, Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham. As a choreographer, he has created his own company in 1972, the Solomons Company / Dance. He graduated in architecture at MIT and teaches dance as a professor of art history at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He writes about dance for specialized magazines and online journals. Solomons received a 1999–2000 New York Dance and Performance Award (a.k.a. “Bessie”) for Sustained Achievement in Choreography. In 2001, Solomons was the first recipient of the annual Robert A. Muh Award for a distinguished artist/alumnus of MIT. In 2004, he was honored by receiving the American Dance Festival’s Balasaraswati/Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching. In 1996, he created the trio Paradigm with the objective to “promote and celebrate the talents of mature artists on stage.” Today, the company has toured throughout the United States.
After working as a performer for many years, Christophe Wavelet co-directed the activities of the performance collective Knust Project (1993–2001) and operated as an editor for the French political magazine Vacarme (1996–2000). During his time as the head of the international research department of the Centre National de la Danse in Pantin he participated in numerous international exhibitions, conferences and publications as a curator, theoretician and critic. His focus lies on experimental and discursive art, independently of the media or the cultural context it is part of. As the director of LiFE in France, an international organisation for emerging art scenes (2005–2010), he curated a series of exhibitions, performances and concerts. He currently teaches at European arts school such as P.A.R.T.S. and ERG in Brussels. During his stay as a fellow resident at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart (2012–2013) he translated the works of the Brasilian artist Hélio Oiticica into French. He currently operates as a curator for both the National Center for Dance in Paris (since 2014) and the International Arab Theater Fund (since 2015).
Cast & Credits
Artistic director: Eszter Salamon
Staging: Eszter Salamon, Christophe Wavelet
Realization: Eszter Salamon, Valda Setterfield, Gus Solomons Jr., Christophe Wavelet
Performance: Valda Setterfield, Gus Solomons Jr.
Light design: Sylvie Garot
Technical management: Rima Ben Brahim
Technical advice: Pierre Willems
Costume: Adeline André
Puppet: Gus Solomons Jr.
A coproduction with Tanz im August.
Production: Sandra Orain, Elodie Perrin / Studio E.S., Alexandra Wellensiek / Embassy GbR
Organization: Elodie Perrin
Transcription: Simon Pleasance, Richard Gray, Samir Sellami, Verena Kutschera, Gabriella Docherty
Coproduction: LE CN D, the Center for Contemporary Art, PACT Zollverein, Tanzquartier Wien, HAU Hebbel am Ufer, International Summer Festival Kampnagel
With the support of the Regional Office for Cultural Affairs of Paris – Ministry of Culture and Communication, the Seine-Saint-Denis Department, Institut Français à Paris, FUSED, Fondation Dar al-Ma’mûn, PARADIGM, Nanterre-Amandiers
Funded by: NATIONAL PERFORMANCE NETWORK (NPN).
With the support of: FUSED French-US Exchange in Dance, a program of the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, the Department of the French Embassy in the United States, the FACE Foundation, the lead funding of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Andrew W.Mellon Foundation, the Florence Gould Foundation, and the French Ministry of Culture and Communication
Thanks to: French Institute Alliance Française, Julie Harrington
Eszter Salamon is an “Associated Artist” of CN D.
Tanz im August 2016
Artistic director: Virve Sutinen
Executive Producer: Sven Neumann
Production: Isa Köhler, Andreas Skjönberg, Andrea Niederbuchner
Assistance of Artistic Director / Production: Marie Schmieder
Tanz im August is a festival by HAU Hebbel am Ufer, funded by the the Capital Culture Fund and the Governing Mayor of Berlin – Senate Chancellery – Cultural Affairs.
HAU Hebbel am Ufer (HAU2)
Hallesches Ufer 32
Tickets: +49 (0)30 259 004 27
The video documentation is produced on behalf of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. The purpose of this contract is to document productions in the field of contemporary dance in Berlin. The master recordings are archived by the University Library of the Berlin University of Arts. Copies of the recordings on DVD are available for viewing exclusively in the reference collections of the following archives (at media desks in these institutions):
University Library of the Berlin University of Arts
Mediathek für Tanz und Theater des Internationalen Theaterinstituts / Mime Centrum Berlin
Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin (HZT)