Building Ekho

Seattle based sculptor and installation artist John Grade will be working with Artistic Director Christopher Stowell to create an environment for a world premiere work inspired by the Narcissus and Echo myth that will be part of our 2012/2013 season opening program, Body Beautiful.

What kind of work does Grade create? Think big, natural fiber, organic shapes and forms that often feel organically grown out of the physical environments in which they are placed.

Grade has spent extended sojourns on several continents and his work is often an intense response to place. His encyclopaedic knowledge of geologic and biologic processes is matched by a maverick imagination. One writer has described talking to Grade as like going down a kaleidescopic rabbit hole that flashes bits of mathematic theory alongside Cormac McCarthy novels.

He prefers natural and upcycled materials. One installation was made out of pulp reclaimed from fifteen 5 foot stacks of Seattle’s Alt-weekly, The Stranger.

Some pieces are installed atop glaciers. Others are created beneath the surface of bays.

For Narcissus & Echo, he will again be working with paper, with initial ideas slanting towards rounded, semi-conical transparent stalagtites and stalagmites that span the full height of the Keller Auditorium and create space for dancers to move in under and around a forest of abstracted forms.

Of course, with many months to go before the collaboration comes to fruition, much can still change as artist and choreographer continue to react and respond to each other’s work. You’ll just have to be there to see how it all comes out.

Narcissus & Echo will be one of four short works on the Body Beautiful program, which will run October 13 – 20 at the Keller Auditorium. Other works on the program will include George Balanchine’s Apollo, Kent Stowell’s Orpheus Portrait and William Forsythe’s Second Detail. The program is inspired by the Portland Art Museum’s Body Beautiful exhibit, a collection of Greek and Roman sculptures and objects that celebrate the human form.

Get more information about the Body Beautiful, and explore the rest of the 2012/2013 season here.

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