It All Started With A Dance

  Bloodlines,  Art Installation: Kim Radatz; Bloodlines, Parts of You Are Me, Choreographer: Cynthia Hennessy; Dancers; Brooke Bradley & Crystal DelGiudice: Image: Kim Radatz

Bloodlines, Art Installation: Kim Radatz; Bloodlines, Parts of You Are Me, Choreographer: Cynthia Hennessy; Dancers; Brooke Bradley & Crystal DelGiudice: Image: Kim Radatz

A recent Moving Current dance collective performance featured the mixed media artwork, Bloodlines, by visual artist, Kim Radatz.  The art installation, created from dyed red rope, white plastic buckets and dancers dominated the stage during the duet: Bloodlines, Parts of You are Me - a collaboration between Radatz and Moving Current founder and choreographer, Cynthia Hennessy.

Bloodlines, pictured above is a reincarnation of the original Bloodlines piece exhibited during the 2015 HCC Ybor Visual Arts Gallery, Creatives Refired: Pot, Paper, Wood & plastic exhibition. Hennessy and Radatz are members of the Creatives Refired artist collective, as am I.  The original Bloodlines work, comprised of plaster, encaustic medium, metal handles and red thread dangled from buckets to pool on the floor, hung immediately within the entrance to the gallery.

 Bloodlines, Artist: Kim Radatz; Creatives Refired: Pot, Paper, Wood & Plastic 2015

Bloodlines, Artist: Kim Radatz; Creatives Refired: Pot, Paper, Wood & Plastic 2015

I was curious how the idea of collaboration had originated- artist inspiration never fails to amaze me. Radatz answered, “Cynthia began dancing within the pieces at the opening. She contacted me and we discussed how to collaborate." And so it started with a dance, and ended in a performance. In the seven months in-between, there was new choreography from Hennessey and new discoveries for Radatz.

Radatz is a serious artist. During the collaboration process she discovered the scale of the original piece was too small to create impact on the stage, or allow dancers to engage and dance with, and within the artwork ropes.  She built a Marquette to visualize and determine scale, learned to dye rope blood red and wrestled with the concepts of scale vs intimacy. Radatz discovered “more is better on the stage” and challenged herself to “increase the scale without losing contact.”

Hennessy is equally serious about her choreography. She had each rehearsal videotaped and closely studied each dancer’s engagement with the artwork. Together Hennessy and Radatz discussed the concept of intimacy and familiar relationships.   

Radatz’s artwork is about intimacy and relationships. Her artist statement outlines her intent: “My artwork deals with the emotional aspect of relationships.  This focus stems from being an identical twin and how that forced me to intuitively deal with a relationship long before I had any understanding of one.  I am interested in giving a visual language to the different feelings that stem from relationships, both from my own experiences and also from relationships that I have observed. Additionally, I have. learned that although things appear to be the same, upon closer inspection they are typically quite different.  I often use multiples to examine and/or emphasize this dichotomy.”

Hennessey described her thoughts. “I see the idea of relationships as being tangled. I liked the idea of the ropes touching each other. It is interesting to me, as part of a family, how we are often surprised by how alike we are and yet amazingly different.”

At the last minute, a schedule change forced a dancer to drop out of the performance, creating a new challenge for Hennessey.  The dance had been choreographed as a trio, it became a duet.  Hennessy originally “resisted the change.” But for Radatz, the duet mirrored the twin component of her family relationship.

The end result was a lovely duet performance by Brooke Bradley and Crystal DelGiudice. I would not critique a dance performance, but this was one of the evening favorites for many in my group. The audience was sparser than this company deserves, Moving Current dance collective  is one of the best.

Radatz, who oversaw the installation each night, could not watch as the artists danced and entwined with the rope. “It makes me nervous.” Visual artists, normally, are not used to their works being touched, moved or intertwined. Though Radatz’s work, with thread, sometimes paper, and yes, at one time even egg shells,  allows for disturbance from viewers.

Kim Radatz is a Gasparilla Festival of the Arts Best of Show Winner among many other accolades.  Cynthia Hennessy is co founder of Moving Current and a leader in the dance community. Learn more about upcoming Moving Current dance performances at http://www.movingcurrent.com.

           It all starts with a dance.