The site-specific performances and installations directed by choreographer Noémie Lafrance explore human movements in man-made landscapes, creating a performance language that interacts with the environment and the audience. Each creation uses an existing indoors/outdoors public site or piece of urban architecture as the setting and inspiration for the performance. The choreography constructs narratives through the movement of people in their real surroundings.
The material is choreographed and rehearsed on site with the participation of large casts of performers and collaborating artists. The creation process pursues the intrinsic meaning of place for its historical, symbolic and energetic values and explores how places are marked by the "life" of people and objects and vice versa. The final product is imbued with the atmosphere of the space and reflects on the enhanced possibilities of live work performed outside of the black-box theater. Between stage and reality, the performance unfolds as an intimate and unpredictable voyage for traveling viewers.
Architecture & Buildings
Metropolitan Opera - " The first time I went to the opera I felt like I was in old New York. It's the feeling of the room, the decor and the velvet walls. It's small, quaint, rustic and old. For an authentic experience, it's worth going as a night out when everyone is dressed up."
Frank Gehry - "Frank Gehry is always coming up with very original designs and pushing the boundaries of construction. His work is very spectacular and usually I’m not drawn to spectacular spaces because I feel like they already are expressing something. But I feel like his work is particularly wanting some bodies on it, and that's why we did the show Rapture in upstate NY. I also really like the IAC building on the west side of Manhattan. We did our gala there and it was wonderful. I'm glad to be working on a number or projects with him exploring dance and architecture."
Stanford White - "Stanford White was a brilliant architect who was murdered tragically in 1906 by the husband of his mistress. He was a real NY character who caused a lot of trouble with his extracurricular social activities. He designed a beautiful stairwell in a clock tower in a downtown Manhattan court building. We performed the show Descent there in 2003. It's a very interesting stairwell architecturally because it doesn’t have any columns. There’s a big hole in the middle and that’s where the audience looked down and saw all the dancers dancing vertically together."
Woolworth Building - "The Woolworth Building on Wall Street is phenomenal. It's very ornate and beautiful. The large arch at the entrance is amazing."
Domino Sugar Factory - "The Domino Sugar Factory is in my neighborhood and I respect it because it's always in grave jeopardy. It represents that industrial era in Williamsburg. I love the arch windows. It's also wild to know the source of all the sugar packets we see around."
McCarren Park Pool - "I created the show, Agora, in the McCarren Park Pool in 2005. This was a public pool in Greenpoint, Brooklyn that was constructed in 1936 and closed in 1983. It was designed to accomodate 6800 people. I thought it was extremely sexy and interesting because a pool is a representation of recreation, pleasure and people having fun. And, of course, only in New York would you find such a massive, public space."
Brian Eno - "We share interest in the use of self generated patterns. He uses music and I use choreography. Systems are created by putting elements together that make the rules and that structure is what makes everything possible. It's like an eco-system the way it's alive and evolving."
James Turrell - "James Turrell is a very famous artist who does a lot with light. I am a site-specific choreographer so I am particularly inspired by his use of nature and shapes. He's building a secret observatory in Arizona to observe the sky. He has a great permanent piece on the roof of PS1 in Long Island City."
Richard Serra - "I love his elliptical sculptures. His work is so massive but you feel the resonance of movement; like going inside a sound."
Maya Deren - "It's unfortunate she didn't create more work. She's considered the mother of experimental film and opened the door to film being used as a narrative without being of real life. You open a door and you're in the ocean, for example. She used film to make poetry. She is best known for Meshes of the Afternoon, but the one I like is Ritual in Transfigured Time. She also used beautiful dance in her films."
Existenz - "I recommend this film by David Cronenberg over the Matrix because they came out at the same time and this was much more imaginative about technology and the future."
Performance and Experimental Arts
Radiohole - "Radiohole is a radical experimental theater collective. Their space is real close to mine and you can see their shows right in it."
Jonah Bokaer - "Jonah started CPR with John Jasperse. Both are modern choreographers whose works are very Merce Cunnigham inspired. They are interested in technology and computers and bringing together the beauty of dance performance with the intellectual side."
CPR - Center for Performance Research - "CPR presents all sorts of modern dance and film programs. It's curated and built by artists."
Chocolate Factory - "The Chocolate Factory in Long Island City is showing some really interesting stuff. It's a nice theater space that's out there a little bit but well worth the trip."
Koosil-ja - "Koosil-ja is a contemporary performance artist whose work combines dance, electronic music, video and interactivity. Part of her aesthetic is asking questions in the world of technology."
Aurora - "Aurora is one of my favorite restaurants because it is always fresh. It's Italian but very creative and not traditional. For the price it is certainly better than most."
Corton - "Corton is just a very elegant restaurant. If you're looking for a happening upscale place I thought this was really good."
Blue Ribbon - "Blue Ribbon is a very sexy spot. I especially like having oysters at the bar. There are a few locations and I like the Manhattan one best."
Marlow and Sons - "I love Marlows and Diner which is right next door. The food is always "from the market" fresh and creative. It's very sexy at night, delicious and cool. They have great pastries as well."
Tomoe - "I love this place for sushi. The owner makes the sushi himself and I've seen lines out the door for 15 years. Count on waiting up to 45 minutes but its well worth it. Have the sashimi deluxe, it's the best thing."
Ushiwakamaru - "This is a fancy, top quality raw and sushi restaurant. It's elegant and always recommended by Japanese people."
Other Stuff To Do
Circle Line - "If you want to do the touristic thing, you want to go on the Circle Line. It’s kind of cool because you can see all the dozen or so bridges. When you're up towards the Bronx, they open in all different kinds of ways and they're really interesting. It’s really interesting to see the whole city from the water."