Foot Notes: Gravity's Ripple

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

When we last saw the choreography of Annie Kloppenberg, back in February's Indelible Marks at Ohio State, she used the visuals of Nicole Gibbs and the video of Lily Skove as her backdrop.

Now, Kloppenberg moves her dancers outside to the grounds of the Dublin Arts Council, right on the beautiful Scioto, to create the site-specific Gravity's Ripple.

It's part of the council's ongoing interdisciplinary project "Ripple Effect: Artistic Impact of the Scioto River," in collaboration with OhioDance and the OSU Department of Dance.

"The piece is not just inspired by that landscape, it will happen in it, which means that there is a different set of possibilities than there is in making work for the stage," Kloppenberg said in an e-mail interview.

The river provided Kloppenberg with some welcome challenges as she made her choreographic choices.

"The landscape has its own aesthetic value, its own beauty, its own history, its own intrigue," Kloppenberg said. "We see bodies differently in vast and tiny spaces. It changes the sense of scope, time, dynamic, force, how we watch and what we see. Those are the things I'm playing with."

As one-third of the improvisational group Like You Mean It, Kloppenberg and her colleagues Noelle Chun and Adriana Durant are used to exploring the possibilities as they go. And improvisation plays a vital part even in such formally choreographed works as Gravity's Ripple.

"I love making detailed choices about what to include in a choreographed dance, as well as exploring possibilities and being able to toss things out," Kloppenberg said. "In either model, improvisation is a great teacher. It keeps me engaged. It keeps me curious. It keeps me learning."

Kloppenberg approaches dance as part of the "common language" of movement - we all move every day, she points out.

"I think the hardest thing is that my work - and much contemporary dance - is non-narrative, but it feels meaningful. So ... people worry that they're not getting 'it,' " Kloppenberg said.

"But the 'it,' at least in my work, is not one specific thing. ... I like to give permission to people to not look for one thing, but to stay open to any experiences or associations that come up in watching the piece."

One thing a viewer might look for, however, is a passage inspired, appropriately enough for Dublin, by instructions on improving one's golf swing. It was inspired by golf, but doesn't look like it, Kloppenberg notes.

"Gravity's Ripple"

When: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18

Where: Dublin Arts Council, Dublin