If there’s one thing artists hate it’s thinking inside the box. But that’s not a problem for musicians from the Red Sea Pedestrians and Wellspring Cori Terry and Dancers. They’re reaching outside their comfort zones with their collaboration “Old World New,” which premieres Thursday through Sunday.
Wellspring Artistic Director and Founder Corri Terry says, like the Red Sea Pedestrians’ music, the Wellspring dancers borrow from a mixture traditional styles and add their own modern twist. Ian Gorman of the Pedestrians says working with Wellspring has changed the way the band approaches song writing.
“And it allows us to compose differently as well as being able to use the performance space here at Wellspring and at Chenery to our advantage and do things dynamically that we couldn’t do anywhere else," says Gorman. "You know, we’re able to really use space and silence and dynamics in a way that we just simply can’t do when we’re playing at a bar.”
Choreographers from Wellspring say, for the most part, the dancers will be moving to old favorites from the Pedestrians, but the band composed three songs specifically for Old World New. Michael Miller is the artistic associate of Wellspring.
“I choreographed a piece for the show. I choreographed it with no music and would then send them the video of it," he says. "And so they made the music after the movement for most of it. So that was…you know I thought it would be fun for them to get to respond to dance because we get to respond to music all the time.”
But the Red Sea Pedestrians didn’t want to just be a backing band or hide in the front like an orchestra, they wanted to be a part of it all.
“So we are incorporating the musicians in to some of the choreography," says Corri Terry. "For instance, there’s a couple of spots where they’ll be one musician standing center stage and the dancers are all around them. In fact it happens twice in different ways. And the musicians move in and out of our ensembles.”
The two groups have been working on Old World New for two years. But the Red Sea Pedestrian’s Cori Somers says this collaboration feels just as fresh as the day it started. Here’s Wellspring founder Corri Terry’s take:
“It is way more exciting than just the sum total of the two groups," she says. "It’s like this whole other life happens when you add the two of them together—live music and live dance. It’s really a great experience.”
In addition to this week’s shows, Old World New will be performed for KRESA students and teachers at Chenery Auditorium. Those shows aren’t open to the public.