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Bound: World Premiere at AVA Gallery
Dancers in residence
What does the pandemic look like when interpreted through dance? Find out at the world premiere of Bound, hosted by AVA Gallery in Lebanon NH on Saturday, April 17 at 2:00 and 5:00 p.m.
Bound is the work of choreographers and dancers Nicolas Fiery and Sofia Forero. Fiery, born just outside of Paris in Vincennes, France, and Forero, born in Cali, Colombia, are in the midst of a three-week artists’ residency at AVA Gallery, courtesy of the Clifford B. West Memorial Fund. Both dancers “made a pledge to themselves and the dance community to continue choreographing and performing in whatever fashion possible throughout the pandemic. As a result, they have been traveling, choreographing, and performing in galleries with space suitable to rehearse and perform,” including throughout New York City, where they both reside.
Their presence in the Upper Valley is totally serendipitous. In January, Nicolas was looking for a change of scene to recharge after a year of living with the constraints of the pandemic in a small New York City apartment. He recalled a painting of Mount Washington he had once seen at the Art Institute of Chicago, and without much planning, headed his car toward the White Mountains. On his return trip, he happened to meander through Lebanon NH and noticed AVA Gallery. He stopped the car to explore and was delighted by AVA’s gallery space, suitable for dance as well as the visual arts. Thus began a series of conversations with Executive Director Heidi Reynolds that led to his and Sofia’s current residency.
Bound, as described by AVA:
BOUND is a piece that reflects the journey of two individuals in the quest for mental freedom while being locked down between the four walls of their apartments. Choreographed by Nicolas Fiery, in collaboration with Sofía Forero, to a score composed by Rachel Therrien, this piece breaks down the different states of the mind as they accept and embrace the change in their lives. “Synchronicity,” the first of the three sections, introduces the characters in their natural environment before knowing that their lives are about to change. “This Isn’t Love” explores the different phases of a couple being isolated from each other, and the different emotions that they both experience. The last section of the piece, “75 Pages of Happiness,” portrays the mental will to keep living, loving, and searching for freedom in a context of the pandemic.
Last weekend, small and appreciative audiences were able to see Forero and Fiery as they presented two other pieces: Our Gift to the World (2021) and Are We? (2019), the latter danced to a spoken word poem written by the artists. The dances were modern with influences of salsa and hip-hop; both dancers like to improvise so that each performance is unique.
In addition to its premiere performances on Saturday, April 17 at 2:00 and 5:00 pm, Bound will be presented on Sunday, April 18 at 2:00 and 4:00 pm, and at the same times the following weekend of April 24 and 25. There are also performances on Friday evenings at 6:00 pm—a reprise of Our Gift to the World/Are We? on April 16 and Bound on April 23.
UPDATE: Currently, viewing for the general public is available only outdoors through AVA’s windows.
(Photo, top, by Sheryl Trainor. Click here for further information about the dance performances and for impressive bios of the dancers.)
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And in case you are wondering . . . Susan B. Apel shuttered a lifelong career as a law professor to continue an interest (since kindergarten) in writing. Her freelance business, The Next Word, includes literary and feature writing; her work has appeared in a variety of lit mags and other publications including Art New England, The Woven Tale Press, The Arts Fuse, and Persimmon Tree. She connects with her neighbors through Artful, her blog about arts and culture in the Upper Valley. She’s in love with the written word.