FADO is pleased to co-present a LIVE Images program at the 2010 Images Festival, along with Dancemakers.
Sonya and Layla Go Camping, a hybrid dance and video work by the New York-based performance duo robbinschilds (Sonya Robbins and Layla Childs), forges new territory in the Images Festival's ongoing explorations of how media art and performance collide. Though trained and rooted in the history of choreography, robbinschilds often works outside of that discipline, engaging in site-specific and installation-based performances which contain elements of video, music and sculpture.
An absurd, playful and humorous performance, Sonya and Layla Go Camping is built around a narrative that folds back in on itself over the course it's duration, creating a sort of structural feedback loop over three distinct acts. The title of the performance references Jacques Rivette's 1974 film Celine and Julie Go Boating, a film in which the two titular protagonists are engaged in a similar looping narrative, a mobius strip of a story that moves from action to inaction, function to dysfunction.
This structural basis is seen in the movement and overall narrative of the work, but it is also embodied through language in the script of the performance. The characters speak about the creative process, the details of which always remain elusive and unsaid. When this is heard during the first act, in the dark over a pair of walkie-talkies, it is as if the dialogue is outlining the actions that will play out in the ensuing performance. Childs asks, "How we gonna end this dance?" to which the reply "Have you guys ever thought of maybe taking this piece to France?" launches the second act, a French-language rendition of the dialogue from act one, shot in Paris with an ongoing visual re-enactment of key scenes from the Rivette film.
In Sonya and Layla Go Camping everything is a mirror, a shadow, a reference and a riff: the naked man with Mickey Mouse gloves who emerges on the stage in act one haunts and follows Sonya and Layla in the video of act two; the form of his white gloves is echoed in the hand-shaped chair on the set in act three. The making of the performance is constantly in flux, the lines between performers, writers and viewers continuously being blurred.
About the artists:
robbinschilds was formed by choreographers, Sonya Robbins and Layla Childs in 2003. Focused on presenting highly visual time-based works, robbinschilds explores the juncture between architecture or place, and human interaction. robbinschilds' performance work has been presented at 122, The Kitchen, The New Museum, Triskelion Arts, PS 1, The Whitney Museum at Altria and internationally at The Donau Festival in Krems, Austria. In addition to their live work, robbinschilds' video art has exhibited at Vaska Emanouilova Gallery Sofia, Bulgaria; Zendai MoMa Shanghai, China; The New Museum, New York, NY; Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid, Spain; LACE: Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, and was screened in BAM's 2007 Next Wave series. robbinschilds has worked with the art collective Chicks on Speed and collaborated with Brooklyn-based duo Japanther, on the rock spectacle Dinosaur Death Dance commissioned by the Performa 07 festival. In 2008, robbinschilds was commissioned to create original choreography for David Byrne's world concert tour.