Rachel Tess began her training as a dancer at the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre where she performed professionally from 1998-2000. She received a BFA in 2004 from The Juilliard School in New York City. While attending Juilliard, Tess received a Princess Grace Award (2002), performed as a member of the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, and was presented with the Martha Hill Dance Award by the faculty.
Tess has been a member of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal, Gothenburg Opera Ballet, and held a permanent position with the Cullberg Ballet in Stockholm until July of 2013. She has performed the works of Stijn Celis, Mats Ek, Johan Inger, Jirí Kylián, Benoît LaChambre, Ohad Naharin, Crystal Pite, and Didy Veldman. She has premiered her choreographic works in Stockholm, Montreal, New York City, Costa Rica, and Portland, Oregon. She was part of Dance Magazine's 25 to Watch in 2010 for her work as co-director of Rumpus Room Dance in Portland, Oregon, a dance collective committed to interdisciplinary dance collaborations in urban and non-traditional environments.
Tess has taught ballet, contemporary dance, and improvisation at Svenska Balletskolan, The Portland Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Conduit Dance in Portland, Danza Abierta in Costa Rica, and Dans och Cirkus Högskolan (DOCH) and Danscentrum in Stockholm. She is the recipient of a Partners of the Americas exchange grant for her work in Costa Rica. In 2013, Tess received her masters in choreography from the New Performative Practices Masters program at DOCH. She won and completed a Princess Grace Foundation Works in Progress Residency at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City with her ongoing large-scale sculptural intervention Souvenir in July of 2013. In August she was an artist in residence at the 5th annual Making Sense Colloquium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. She is currently a permanent resident in Kivik, Sweden and is a member of ÖSKG since September 2013. She is the director of Milvus Artistic Research Center (MARC). Upcoming projects include a residency with the project Souvenir at Wanås Konst from April-July 2014. Souvenir will also be premiered in September 2014 in collaboration with the Lower Manhattan Culture Council on Governor’s Island.
In May, 2014 dancer Kenneth Bruun Carlson and I participated in the opening of the exhibition Dance Me at Wanås Konst by performing a 45-minute score/loop for two days. The exhibition included, Molly Haslund, Christian Jankowski, Tadashi Kawamata, Sigalit Landau, and Salla Tykkä.
The score was created so that the audience could walk in and out of the structure during the performance or stay for the entire thing until it looped back to the beginning. Since our first weeks at Wanås Kenneth and I were working with movement qualities, physical intensities, and the impact of macro and micro movement in close proximity to the audience. Tangentially, or perhaps as a byproduct of the schedule we created for ourselves we were also experiencing the effects of exhaustion and how that played upon the work.
How do we create a performance score that can be performed 6 times a day for 10 days during Konstrundan? What if people are coming to buy art/objects and not coming to experience performance?
-In April dancer Kenneth Bruun Carlson and I created a 35-minute score, which we performed for ten days during Konstrundan. We met audiences of 1-20 people at a time. Meeting audiences during Konstrundan (an event created to highlight and boost the sales of visual artists in Österlen, especially the members of the Östra Skånes Konstärsgille) was an entirely different format than meeting audiences accustomed to seeing performance regularly. Throughout the ten days visitors came to Wanås as part of Konstrundan and had the possibility of seeing one of six shows per day. While some audience came specifically to see dance, the majority of our audience was attracted to Wanås because of the sculpture park and Konstrundan. Although many of the viewers were relatively inexperienced with performance they were open, and interested. We dialogued with them at length post performance through Souvenir Dialogue, an exhibition curated adjacent to the room Souvenir was installed in. Inside of the room were performance scores for the audience to practice as well as documentation (photographic and written), and materials for the audience to manipulate.
In February 2014, we installed Souvenir in the Konsthall at Wanås Konst. This was the beginning of our extended residency as part of the Dance Me exhibition. Dancer Kenneth Bruun Carlson and I completed a one-week research period in preparation for Konstrundan.
As a choreographer I am interested in how the choreographic act can be extended to the labor involved in the production of my choreographic work. This includes production: organization and collaboration with technical support as well as the two to three day construction (re-assembly) phase of the Souvenir project. In previous iterations of the project the dancers participated in the building of the structure. At Wanås I collaborated with the technical team for installation in the Konsthall and barn.
How does contact with the materials and architecture through hands on work effect the eventual outcome through performance?
-Within a large institution like Wanås Konst (or Baryhsnikov Arts Center and Governor’s Island) we (the dancers, choreographer, and lighting designer) have a framework that remains a constant. We understand how it is put together, what is weight bearing and what is less so, and how to move it in the most efficient manner. As the stable factor within the choreographic proposition, Souvenir provides us with a platform to assess the context in which we are situated. From inside of Souvenir’s walls we process the sound and light inherent to the site in which we are installed. We begin to understand how the audience moves through the world outside of our walls and are subject to their movement and choices once they enter the structure. Souvenir acts as a container for memory: the performer’s memories of previous performances, housed in their bodies over an extended run of performances. We begin to understand how the structure processes different situations and see how the choreographic proposition changes with each new context into which we interject the choreographic architecture. Our bodies become conditioned by the dimensions, textures, and proportions of the structure. Our senses become accustomed to the sounds and light filtered through the structure.
We have added a show this week for the performance “How Long, How Far” with Karin Thunberg at MARC. The 35 minute solo was created as an adaptation of a manuscript from journalist and playwright Thunberg. The show begins at 19.00 and end at 20.00. Please join us for the final performance at MARC, Gladeholm 1, 27735 Kivik.
Rachel Tess i samarbete med Karin Thunberg, 3-5 april på MARC
How Long How Far är en koreografisk tolkning av monologen Hoppet (Jag ska måla mina naglar röda och slåss mot döden) av Karin Thunberg. Dansaren och koreografen Rachel Tess tar i sin tolkning av texten sig an den tidsrubbning monologen som format innebär. Hon dyker in i den värld av sinnesförnimmelser Thunbergs skrift väcker. Hur möter vi tiden i ett tillstånd mitt emellan? Vilken känsla har vi för början och slut? Vad finns mellan livet och döden och hur möter vi det med beslutsamhet, humor, rädsla, kärlek, passivitet, ilska och alla de odöpta känslor däremellan?
Lighting design/set design and choreographer by Rachel Tess
Kvällen bjuder på framförandet av How Long How Far (ca 35 min) samt studiosamtal med de medverkande efter framförandet, med dryck och tilltugg.
3-5 april, kl 19:00-20:00
Milvus Artistic Research Center (MARC) Gladeholm 1, 27735 Kivik
Biljetter erhålls genom att sända e-post till firstname.lastname@example.org med antal besökare och önskat datum. Pris 150 kr/st. Biljetter kan även köpas i dörren. Antal publikplatser är 40, förköp rekommenderas.
För pressbilder och information om föreställningen kontakta Rachel Tess email@example.com
Karin Thunberg är journalist, författare och dramatiker, som under många år varit knuten till Svenska Dagbladet som reporter och kolumnist. Idag är hon frilansare.
2002 tilldelades hon Publicistklubbens Guldpennan ”för sin förmåga att förena det privata med det personliga och det politiska”. 2011 fick hon Region Blekinges kulturpris.
Bland verken kan nämnas ”Mellan köksfönstret och evigheten, om kärlek, vänskap och arbete”, ”En dag ska jag berätta om mamma” och ”En dag ska jag ta mig någon annanstans” (samtliga Brombergs förlag). Senaste pjäser: ”Felicia försvann” och ”Hoppet eller Jag ska måla mina naglar röda och slåss mot döden” på Stockholms Stadsteater 2014 och ”Innan jorden rämnar” på Uppsala stadsteater 2014.
For Immediate Release:
In-process showing of “We are Still in Love” at Milvus Artistic Research Center.
Milvus Artistic Research Center, (MARC) opens its doors this October with an In-process showing of the dance performance “We are Still in Love” with artists in residence Kenneth Bruun Carlson and Live Strugstad.
“We are still in love” is a collaboration with and by performer Live Strugstad and choreographer and performer Kenneth Bruun Carlson. Together with the audience the performers create new spaces and communities through close and intimate encounters.
By believing in the intelligent body and its ability to obtain and systematize information using somatic methods, the performers trace physical availabilities to achieve ecstatic and euphoric states of mind. They search for the stages/states of ecstasy and euphoria that give a heightened sense of awareness and an intensified physical experience, giving rise to extreme physical situations.
Milvus Artistic Research Center (MARC), Gladeholm, Kivik 27735
Parking is on site in the driveway. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve seats, as seating is limited. We will take reservations until 2pm the day of the performance.
Thursday October 30th, 19.00-20.00
Admission is free.
About the Artists
Kenneth Bruun Carlson is a Norwegian freelance dancer and choreographer living and working in Sweden. He is a graduate from the London Contemporary Dance School (2000) and the Amsterdamse Hogeshool voor de Kunsten (2003). Carlson has been a member of Danish Dance Theater (DK), The Cullberg Ballet (SE), Kenneth Kvarnström & Co/Helsinki Dance Company (FI), and Skånes Dansteater (SE). He has worked with independent choreographers Marten Forsberg, Helena Franzen, Shumpei Nemoto, Björn Safsten, and Rachel Tess among others. His choreographic works have premiered in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, and London. He is the recent recipient of a Norwegian Art Council project grant for the choreographic work “We are Still in Love” with dancer Live Strugstad and musician Stian Westerhus.
Live Strugstad is a Norwegian freelance dancer and choreographer based in Inderøy, Norway. She is a graduate from the London Contemporary Dance School (2000). She has performed with Smallpetitklein Dance Company in London. She has worked with independent choreographers Gustavo Lesgart, Annika Ostwald, Luis Della Mea and Susanne Rasmusen, and Tharan Revfem in Norway, among others. Her choreographic works have premiered in Norway and Sweden. She has performed in the Vancouver Children’s Festival as part of Teater Fot. Strugstad has initiated children’s projects, improvisation workshops, interdisciplinary works with film and music, choreographic development projects, and is a dance consultant at Dans i Nord-Trøndelag.
About the Center:
MARC is a platform where performance practices, working modes, and methodologies are questioned and new work is created and shared. MARC provides the opportunity for dance choreographers and practitioners to focus on specific research questions. MARC has an interest in interdisciplinary collaboration and welcomes other disciplines with a relationship to live performance to the center for residencies each year.
For more information regarding “We are Still in Love”, press images, and MARC please write to artistic director Rachel Tess at email@example.com.
We invite you to join us at Milvus Artistic Research Center, MARC, in Kivik for a special encounter with choreographer Peter Mills on Saturday October 18th, 2014.
When: 18.00-20.00 (please arrive on time or 15 minutes prior to event start)
Milvus Artistic Research Center, Gladeholm, Kivik 27735
parking is on site
Please RSVP to director Rachel Tess at firstname.lastname@example.org. The workshop/dinner is limited to 20 people so it is important to RSVP.
“Reflective Nebula”, with choreographer Peter Mills, is both an educational and artistic exploration of community.
Inclusion in a community shapes what one values and the choices one makes. A focus on the movements that shape these communities, micro and macro, can better inform us how and where our value is formed and shaped. “Reflective Nebula” is a two-part project hosted by Rachel Tess and Milvus Artistic Research Center in Kivik. The project employs reflective choreographic practices during encounters with specific communities to demonstrate how community functions and reveal how systems of value are produced.
During the 2 hour encounter we will dialogue over a simple meal served on site at MARC. After dinner we will perform creative tasks in a fast paced playful manner. We will work together, sharing a creative task or outcome and then copy each other with an emphasis on creativity itself, rather than form or skill. The exploration is guided by different means: verbal, kinesics, written and audio. We dance, act, paint, write, dream, observe, and respond. We spend time following different paths of creativity, asking ourselves “Where do we want to go?” and “What interests us?”
This encounter will be followed by a 48 hour performance in January, 2015 by Peter Mills and collaborators. We are pleased to invite you to see the beginnings of a creative process, and to engage in a project where your participation directly influences the choreographic outcome. Please join us for this unique opportunity.
The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, LMCC, is pleased to host Rachel Tess for a residency to develop her project Souvenir at St. Cornelius Chapel at Governors Island.
Tess’ Souvenir is a project that investigates the relationships between architecture and choreography and choreographer and audience. The work more specifically explores the concept of a mobile architecture versus pre-existing institutional structures and how this design may impact the making and viewing of performance. In Souvenir, audiences are intended to explicitly experience the space, frame, bodies, and movement as simultaneously separate, related, and interactive elements.
During Tess’ 2014 residency, audiences will have access to both the studio process through Open Studios featuring in-process showings, and the design process through Open Hours for Souvenir Dialogue a small exhibition of documentation and ephemera related to the project.
Souvenir is co-commissioned by LMCC and BAC, with generous support provided by Princess Grace Foundation-USA.
Souvenir was developed, in part, during a Princess Grace Foundation-USA Work-in-Progress Residency at Baryshnikov Arts Center. Souvenir at LMCC in September, 2014 is made possible with a stipend for International projects from the Swedish Arts Council. Souvenir is also made possible by the generous supporters of Rachel Tess Dance (501c3 non-profit). Exhibition materials for Souvenir are on loan from the Wanås Foundation in Sweden. Accommodations provided by the Millenium Hilton.
Choreography and conception by Rachel Tess
Performers: Kenneth Bruun Carlson and Anna Pehrsson
Lighting design: Michael Mazzola
Re-design of Souvenir II: Opsis Architecture
Design: Gian Monti
Lead carpenters: Tim Sampson and Mark Morton
Additional Exhibition times and showings are as follows: