Foundation Obras Residency, Portugal
After the rain…
Showgirls, photo by Svelta Atanasova
Karen Bernard is known for creating a storm of references on the body. In Showgirls, she delves into a delicious deconstruction of glamour in decline. Using evocative imagery of a crumbling Venice juxtaposed with sumptuously adorned dancers in high heels who strut their stuff unapologetically, Bernard orchestrates a visually rich and thought provoking performance that swirls around the audience. Bernard’s Showgirls recognize their imperfections and deny those of the world around them, creating an emotionally charged and complex.
November 12, 2018 – 8:00 PM, Showgirls – Bits & Pieces, Movement Research at Judson Church
In October 2018 Bernard awarded residency at Foundation Obras in Portugal to explore video documentation from residency performances at Brooklyn Studios for Dance as well as related fragments.
In the summer of 2016, during a residency at the Emily Harvey Foundation in Venice, Italy, she was inspired by the city of Venice whose impermanence likens itself to the gracelessness of an aging woman,she gathered photos of facades of Venice architecture. Bernard has been researching period music and images of the 50’s/60’s in Italy.
She has begun to work with dramaturg Andi Stover to flesh out the subtle meanings behind the work. They have discussed exploring the pacing allowing the audience to settle into the meaning of the images; manipulation of set, sound and projection as it relates to the audience in a shared space; finding source material related to Venice and its slow decline; delving deeper into the personal connection with past and present; and the roles and relationships of the performers.
In March 2018 at BkSD, Brooklyn Studios for Dance, Bernard received a three week residency to further develop Showgirls culminating in a performance/installation May 17-19, 2018.
Development of Showgirls has also received support through E|MERGE Interdisciplinary Artist Residency at Earthdance , NDA’s LiftOff Workshops, and the generous donations of individuals.
Creation and Performance: Karen Bernard
In collaboration with performers: Rachel Thorne Germond, Jil Guyon, Lisa Parra
Dramaturg: Andi Stover
Video editor: Jil Guyon
Costumes: Hwa Park in collaboration with Karen Bernard
Lighting Consultant: Emma Rivera