Girl Gods // 2015

Girl Gods explores the ancestry of women, individuals and family—and the idea of rage. Both a visual installation and time-based performance, Girl Gods has connections to feminist artists and art practices of the 1970s, influenced by Judy Chicago's installation projects and the Earth-Body work of Ana Mendieta.

The last major work of Pat Graney Company was House of Mind, which explored the idea of memory; its accumulation and its dissolution. Girl Gods explores the ‘basement’ of House of Mind, and involves women’s family history, ancestry and rage.

“I think it is accurate to say that [Ms. Graney] is exploring the point at which the domestic realm drives down into the earth. In it, she hopes to tap into the molten force of rage with a physical language that gives expression to the undomesticated, the buried and the repressed...” George Lugg

“The fierce women of Girl Gods may be wearing cocktail dresses and little heels, but their explosive physical language and wry humor reveals the anger simmering under the surface of the collective feminine mind.” - Montclair State University

Girl Gods premiered this fall at On the Boards (October 1-4, 2015) and at Montclair State University (October 22-25, 2015). The tour will continue fall 2016 in San Diego and Miami (dates TBD).


Performers: Jody Kuehner, Sara Jinks, Sruti Desai, Jenny Peterson, Michelle de la Vega, and Cheryl Delostrinos (understudy).

Creative Team: Pat Graney (Choreography/Direction), Amy Denio (Sound Score), Holly Batt (Visual Design), Amiya Brown (Lighting Design), Frances Kenny (Costumes), John DeShazo (Engineer).


Press Kit PDF

Booking: 

Elizabeth Roth | Roth Arts
info@rotharts.com | www.rotharts.com

Lynn Fisher | Frontera Arts
lynn@fronteraarts.com | www.fronteraarts.com


Touring Dates:

October 1-4, 2015 | Premiere
On the Boards (Seattle, WA)

October 22-25, 2015
Montclair State University (Montclair, NJ)
 

October 21, 2016
UC San Diego (San Diego, CA)

November 2016
Miami Light Project (Miami, FL)
 


Sponsors:

The presentation of Girl Gods was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Girl Gods is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund/Forth Fund Project co-commissioned by On the Boards in partnership with Miami Light Project and Peak Performances at Montclair State University. For more information: www.npnweb.org

Girl Gods is supported by New Music USA, made possible by annual program support and/or endowment gifts from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, Baisley Powell Elebash Fund, Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

“Girl Gods” was made possible through Velocity Dance Center’s Strictly Seattle summer festival.

Additional funding from Boeing, 4Culture and the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture.

 


 



 

Premiered
2015
Location(s)
  • Preview Performance at Velocity Dance Center (Seattle, WA)
    2014
  • Work in Progress Performance at West Hall / Century Ballroom (Seattle, WA)
    2015
  • On the Boards (Seattle, WA)
    2015
  • Montclair State University (Montclair, New Jersey)
    2015
  • UC San Diego (San Diego, CA)
    2016
  • Miami Light Project (Miami, FL)
    2016
Choreography
Pat Graney
Performers
Michelle de la Vega
Sara Jinks
Jody Kuehner
Jenny May Peterson
Sruti Desai
Cheryl Delostrinos
Costumes
Frances Kenny
Music
Amy Denio
Lighting
Amiya Brown
Set Design
Holly Batt
Engineering
John DeShazo
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Edit:
Pat Graney's "Girl Gods" @ Peak Performances
​Perhaps the history of dance theatre, think Pina Bausch and her pivotal role in bringing humanity to the stage, was Pat Graney Company’s impetus in making Girl Gods, presented at Peak Performances (October 22-25).  For Bausch, characters (performers) were responsible for what is brought to the stage, and no panacea is offered for the resultant reaction to the message.  Throughout Graney’s Girl Gods  for example, in groups of two, three or  five, incidents call to question talks with the performer’s mothers “…about power and anger.”  Either writhing on the floor, serving tea, cooking chicken, or shifting through limbed sequences, they parade on an off stage in white boy-briefs and tank tops, red and black dresses, or as marionettes in sculpted dresses with large bows and clunky shoes.  Voiceovers come and go to bring voice to each story.  Bausch’s works were often unpredictable and folks just had to experience it.  Girl Gods was an experience and there were many nice moments of truths.  The terrific wall of cardboard “drawers,” and piling of black sand used intermittently by the performers (Cheryl Delostrinos, Sruti Dasai, Sara Jinks, Jody Kuehner and Jenny Peterson), as storage and as a partner, was designed by Holly Batt.

Edit:
‘Girl Gods’ Storms Kasser
On Oct. 22, Guggenheim Award-winner and Seattle based choreographer, Pat Graney and her company used dance to examine the world of women and rage in Kasser Theater. Through interviews with female family and friends across generations, Graney began her exploration of the collective feminine mind. What she found was simmering anger underneath the surface. Women are just as capable of rage as men, so how are they to express this in their culture?

Edit:
Remembering is cathartic in dance-theater piece, ‘Girl Gods’
A heap of dirt lies in the corner, silently reproaching the cast of “Girl Gods,” the dance-theater piece that the Pat Graney Company, from Seattle, is presenting this weekend at the Alexander Kasser Theater in Montclair. Don’t these women, whose job it is to sanitize and purify the home, have any self-respect? How could they have overlooked this unsightly accumulation of grime?

Edit:
Girl Power
Seattle’s beacon of feminism in dance, Pat Graney, mixes serious issues with absurdism. Like Pina Bausch, she offers surreal imagery, though less glamorous and more grounded. Her newest premiere, Girl Gods, explores themes of family history and the rage many women feel toward society. To underline the contrast between good behavior and the tumult within, her five dancers don cocktail dresses and dance on a blanket of dirt.

Edit:
MOVERS & SHAPERS PODCAST: PAT GRANEY
Seattle-based choreographer Pat Graney received Choreography Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts for 11 consecutive years, as well as from Artist Trust, the Washington State Arts Commission, the NEA International Program, National Corporate Fund for Dance and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In 2008, Ms. Graney was awarded both the Alpert Award and a US Artists Award in Dance.

Edit:
Pat Graney and Colleen Thomas Explore Difference (Differently)
Girl Gods is the second piece in a projected triptych created by the Seattle choreographer Pat Graney. Montclair University’s Peak Performances series did us a favor by bringing us its East coast premiere. Graney’s subject is women of a generation or two ago—women who were advised to bottle up their rage, to defer to their husbands, and to be capable and attractive on the home front at all times. Girl Gods is dedicated to Graney’s mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and I believe it is her recorded voice that we hear in snatches, recalling her married life and sometimes marveling at her own passivity.

Edit:
The Mind Of Pat Graney
Over the years I’ve spent a fair amount of time navigating the rich pathways of Pat Graney’s mind. It’s always an amazing journey. Graney has been making dances in Seattle for more than two decades. Love them or hate them, they are always fascinating.

Edit:
Pat Graney’s ‘Girl Gods’ explores women’s image and anger
Pat Graney’s new dance-performance piece “Girl Gods” begins with a young woman in a tight black mini-dress and heels, a cup of tea carried precariously in one hand. As she slowly totters and steadies herself along a tall, wide wall of irregular white bricks, the cup clinks against the saucer. As tension mounts, can she keep her balance? This is a potent opening image in a full-length work that ruminates on socially constructed standards of female attractiveness. Women’s repressed anger about these rigid codes also finds an outlet in “Girl Gods.”

Edit:
PAT GRANEY’S GIRL GODS: ALL THE RAGE
If at any point in life you ever wonder, “Why are women always so damn angry?” Pat Graney has good reasons for you. In her work Girl Gods (presented at On the Boards October 1-4), women’s relationships to anger and rage became the focal point of the over 80-minute show.

Edit:
Pat Graney's 'Girl Gods' Explores Suppressed Rage Through Dance
Define rage. Have you ever experienced pure rage? How did you express it? How was anger expressed in your family? These are the questions longtime local choreographer Pat Graney is asking five female dancers to explore in her new piece, Girl Gods. Even more daringly, she’s requesting that they ask the same questions of their mothers—and record the answers, which will be used in the score (by acclaimed Seattle composer Amy Denio). In early August, 24 weeks into the 32-week rehearsal schedule, none of the dancers had initiated those maternal conversations yet.

Edit:
Girl Gods: Pat Graney’s latest work returns to women, family and repressed rage.
In 2010, Seattle-based choreographer Pat Graney presented Faith Triptych, a remount of three works she had created for On the Boards between 1991 and 2001. For those who had followed Graney’s work since she emerged as a major figure here in the 1980s, the three dances—Faith (1991), Sleep* (1997) and Tattoo (2001)—were a reminder about how powerful her straightforward and deeply emotional movement could be. These pieces were long and unfolded slowly, gradually accruing strength and significance as the dancers established behavioral patterns and intimate relationships. Graney’s direct methods were, like the waves of feminism that accompanied them, something of a revelation. It was striking to see work unencumbered by the conceptual frameworks or persona-based modes of expression that are so common among younger choreographers. Graney’s art was confident enough to just be what it was.

Edit:
RAGE AND FEMININITY IGNITE IN PAT GRANEY’S “GIRL GODS”
Powerful. Fearless. Innovative. So many authoritative adjectives have been ascribed to choreographer Pat Graney’s works in her thirty-odd year career, and countless more will join them as she continues to create. But words are only so much, and Graney’s work belongs to the curious and transcendent rank of art that is not so much described as it is viscerally and soul-rendingly felt.

Edit:
Fall Arts: How Pat Graney Builds Her Choreography, By excavating memory and emotion as a form of research.
Seattle has a tendency to produce choreographers who aren’t like anyone who came before them. Merce Cunningham and Mark Morris are probably the best known, but Pat Graney isn’t far behind. She’s been making dances since the 1970s; and in the dance world, where generations fly by like gnats, that’s a very long time. Coming to Seattle in 1979, Graney landed in a dance community that was full of activity, with all kinds of newcomers bringing the energy of the dance boom with them. She found her cohort in the experimentalists who established On the Boards, which has offered a home for her work ever since. Like most young artists, she tried on multiple ideas, but some of her early interests still thread through her current work. Her primary values include language (both spoken and gestural communication), ritual activities, a keen eye for design, and a fondness for the unusual. You’ll see these all reflected in Girl Gods, which premieres next month.

Edit:
Pat Graney is angry, and it’s a beautiful thing
During a recent afternoon rehearsal with her five dancers, choreographer Pat Graney was discussing timing, dresses, and poultry–specifically where one might procure a Cornish game hen. This was Graney, one of Seattle’s most admired and respected dance makers, finessing her first full-length work in seven years. Girl Gods premieres this week at On The Boards and if a peek at the work in progress is a good indicator, it promises to be both aesthetically memorable and emotionally challenging. In other words: classic Graney. The work focuses on a favorite Graney subject—women—but this time it’s women and the idea of rage. (The poultry, for example, serves as a prop in a segment about the ritual of domestic work but it’s slated to be anything but cutesy). Graney, 59, has received some of the highest accolades locally and nationally for her work. Her contemporary dance pieces have included large-scale installations as well as performance workshops for incarcerated women and girls. In conversations after rehearsal one recent Saturday at On The Boards and then over the phone, Graney weighed in on stuffing one’s emotions, the radical act of unleashing rage, and the insecurity she still feels even though she’s in her 36th year of creating work...

Edit:
IDENTITY THROUGH MOTION: VELOCITY DANCE CENTER’S STRICTLY SEATTLE 2015
Pat Graney’s A Study for Girl Gods was choreographed as a sort of preamble to her upcoming work Girl Gods,which premieres in October at On the Boards. Staying true to her usual interplay with social commentary, her piece for Strictly Seattle engaged with images of femininity and the pressures of being confined to project a society-approved look. Parades of women with their hair loose, pencil skirts tight, and heels tall was almost as disconcerting as the false plastic smiles—as much a part of the choreography as their steps. Confined and cutesy duets provided a vast contrast to the unnerving backdrop: soloists writhing on the floor, full of rage, out of control and violent.

Edit:
ORANGE COVERS FULL SPECTRUM
Graney’s two offerings of the evening, girl gods and the show’s titular ORANGE, were presented after intermission. The excerpt of girl gods certainly gives dance-goers a lot to look forward to—the full length work will be presented at On the Boards and in installation at the Frye Art Museum in the fall of 2015. In a pre-show announcement, Graney explained that the piece is about women and rage; each of work’s vignettes approached a facet of this subject. The carefully crafted snippets were minimalist but potent, and all shrewdly performed by Michelle de la Vega, Sruti Desai, Sara Jinks, Jody Kuehner, and Jennifer Peterson.

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Performance Timeline