Nov 30, 2023
Dec 10, 2023

Ashley Chen: Unisson, Rush, Distances & more

"It becomes evident that all Chen’s seven co-dancers are liberated by his work; there is no sense of inhibition or caution here...There’s a sense of organised wildness here." —Alastair Macauley

By Ashley Chen

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Ashley Chen—choreographer, performer, and founder of Kashyl—will bring a triptych of works to La MaMa as part of Villa Albertine’s 2023 Dance Season. The three pieces delve into the substance of the group, reshaping and exploring its various states. In UNISSON, eight dancers attempt to reach an intimate point of resonance: how does a group invent itself through dance? How can movement become a tool to forge a sense of sharing and unity? In Rush, two beings are propelled by an incessant driving force. An exhausting frantic race renders them breathless, forcing them to support one another to find balance. Distances, performed by students from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts alongside original cast members, shows a group of women testing the outer limits of each others’ personal space.

Program A

11/30/23 at 7PM: UNISSON followed by a reception and meet and greet with artists
12/01/23 at 7PM: Rush and UNISSON
12/02/23 at 7PM: Rush and UNISSON
12/03/23 at 11AM: La MaMa Kids Workshop
12/03/23 at 2PM: Rush and UNISSON

Program B

12/07/23 at 7PM: TUMBLE, OutSide Flow, and Distances
12/08/23 at 7PM: TUMBLE, OutSide Flow, and Distances
12/09/23 at 7PM: TUMBLE, OutSide Flow, and Distances (POST SHOW Dime a Dance)
12/10/23 at 2PM: TUMBLE, OutSide Flow, and Distances (POST SHOW Dime a Dance)

UNISSON* - Eight performers attempt to reach an intimate point of resonance and find the answer to a difficult question: how does a group reinvent itself through dance and find unity?

Two men run, together, separately: Rush is a choreography in which two individuals are being propelled by an incessant driving force.

Tumble* is the first draft of Chen’s new work Dégringolade. He’ll be recalling bodily memories from his dance life, embarking on a choreographic stream of consciousness.

OutSide Flow** is a choreographic short film shot in NYC, LA, and France. It seeks to explore the correlations between human gestures and the ambient movement in which we evolve.

Distances* - A sisterhood of performers test the outer limits of each other’s personal space, inventing a common ground. Exchanging gestures and songs: a morphing phantasmagorical entity emerges.

Dime a Dance* by Merce Cunningham, has been reimagined by Chen, Chirescu, and Therrien as live improvisational game exposing the beginning of Cunningham’s use of Chance.

*The performances by Compagnie Kashyl received the support of Villa Albertine as part of the Albertine Dance Season.
**This film project has been possible thanks to the Villa Albertine Residency program.

Photos by Ory Meuel, Minie Mejias, Jerome Brody, Agnäs Mellon, and Sandy Korzekwa

Kashyl is a contemporary dance company founded in 2012 in Calvados, Normandy by Ashley Chen, a versatile and renowned Franco-Sino-British performer. Under his artistic direction and in collaboration with a team of dedicated artists, the company's identity is characterized by the production of immersive choreographic works for both stage and public spaces, while maintaining a continuous research effort. Its choreographic language relies on the commitment and physical performance of the dancers. The aim is to relate to the audience by exposing the performer's raw and radical dedication, leading to their exhaustion and vulnerability.

The performances by Compagnie Kashyl are part of Albertine Dance Season and received support from Villa Albertine, French Institute, and Normandy Region.

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