Into the Fold



hen dancers Rachel Tess and Stephan Laks began exploring ideas for a new performance back in 2008, they wanted to continue their concept of using empty urban spaces in an innovative way. They also wanted to engage a visual artist for a collaborative multi-disciplinary and multimedia experience.

In the weeks of planning after Rachel first approached me, I was surprised at how my work played such a central role in the overall concept. My art wasn’t simply an accessory. It informed the entire performance—a testament to the creative vision of Rachel and Stephan.

Writer Mary Hughley, of the Oregonian, describes the space and the performance of Into the Fold this way:

There’s a shadowy corridor with plumb lines and orb lamps hanging just a couple of feet above the floor. Next to that, a 20-foot-long crumple of paper, daubed and slashed in varied colors, undulating up from a fenced-off gap in the floor like some strangely beautiful hybrid of trash heap and sea serpent. Still other painted-paper assemblages in the form of rough funnel clouds create a tornado alley of abstract art. Stop-motion films of artist K.C. Madsen at work flicker against the walls.

Amid this visually intriguing atmosphere, enhanced by dusky light through the exterior glass and by stark lighting patterns by Michael Mazzola, Rumpus Room founders Rachel Tess and Stephan Laks and guest dancer Banning Roberts turn line and form into something still more expressive and compelling. They use floor, walls, railings, even outdoor benches visible through the glass, continually shifting the spatial context for the performance. The choreography is dense with ideas — the athletic leap, the dramatic embellishment and the subtle gesture all threaded together with a confident dynamism.

— Marty Hughley, Dance Review: Rumpus Room at Pinnacle Pavillion, the Oregonian, June 22, 2008

With permission, we took over the Pinnacle Pavilion, a large unfinished space on the ground floor of a 14-story condominium building. There I created and installed my signature crumpled art pieces to transform the space into something otherworldly.

“Chapters” of the performance were highlighted by stop-motion video footage of my art-making process, projected on the walls inside the Pinnacle Pavillion.

Excerpts showing Into the Fold dancers Rachel Tess, Stephan Laks, and Banning Roberts (now Banning Bouldin).