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Cill Rialaig Retreat: Ballinskelligs, Ireland

July, 2017

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Work in Progress


Staged in NDA’s studio among vintage furniture and lamps, black dresses and pumps, shimmering curtain and electronic toys, who knows where this trio (Bernard, Rachel Thorne Germond and Jil Guyon) will go as ghost like images appear among empty boxes.

Showgirls is a reinvention of an earlier work entitled Runway first presented at HERE Arts Center in 2002. Hats off to past showgirls, Nuria Divi, Mary Ann Lacey, Maja Lorkovic, Diane Vivona



Karen Bernard has created a digital archive (transferring past works from VHS) and developing an arresting physical embodiment of this archive. Historically, Bernard choreographed exclusively for herself. Now she has begun to stage these solos for other performers as a way of dealing with the challenges of aging and the passage of time.

Reperformance: 1993-1996 It Could Have Been Different, a series of four excerpted works with costumes by Liz Prince, was performed by Donna Costello,  Jil Guyon, Mersiha Mesihovic, Ryan Migge, Lisa Parra, and Stacy Lynn Smith at Triskelion Arts in New York City in October 2014 and reprized at Soaking WET in New York City in September 2015. Deepening this research mining another seminal work from 1999 called Vinyl, Bernard began a new work, Vinyl Retro, with long-time colleague Barbara Mahler through Dance and Process at The Kitchen in New York City, which culminated in a performance in May, 2016.

In the summer of 2016, a residency at the Emily Harvey Foundation in Venice, Italy provided the time to study the past works.  During this process, she was struck by the minimal, raw movements from her dances beginning in the 80’s and has inspired an expansive palette for making new pieces.

This investigation includes re purposing physical material and concepts from the past twenty-five years of dance-making, in addition to the creation of sourced photographs, video and sound scores. Resources such as time, space and a location with the potential for spontaneous, improvisatory reactions impact the development of this work.