A Dance Performance

With choreography by Lorin Johnson (former member of the American Ballet Theatre; currently free-lance choreographer in Southern California and a specialist in Russian culture), “Seven by Five” is an investigation into the movements of the body in dance, gymnastics, work, narration and abstraction. Inspired by the music, theater, painting and cinema of the Russian avant-garde, “Seven by Five”, with its experimental section “Moto-Bio”, brings together the following international group of dance professionals:

Co-sponsored by the Fondazione Pontedera Teatro, “Seven by Five” will be given publicly for the Festival “Tendopolis” at the Fabbrica Europa, Stazione Leopolda, Florence, on 29 May, 2003, at 19.00. The Fabbrica Europa supports new dance, theater, and music productions every summer and is now recognized as being one of Europe's primary laboratories for experimental performance.

All are welcome.


The Festival Fabbrica Europa, "Tendopolis".,will take place at the Stazione Leopolda, Albizi 14, 50122 Firenze, Italy.
Tel.: (390) (55) 2480515; 2638480
Fax: (390) (55) 2479757
e-mail: fabbrica.europa@firenze.net
website: www.fabbricaeuropa.net

The dance performance is divided into two main parts: 1) revivals of Goleizovsky and Balanchine based on archival materials, and 2) the premiere of an original ballet that responds to innovations of choreographic device in terms of movement, theatrical space and musicality. The performance is being presented both as a closed workshop for conference participants only and as an open presentation, to which all are welcome, at the Fabbrica Europa in Florence.

1st Act (Revivals):
Staged by Lorin Johnson

2nd Act (Premiere):

Lasting eighteen minutes, Moto-Bio: Russia/1920s/Bodies in Movement explores trends in movement from the plastic free-dances of Isadora Duncan to the neo-classical innovations of George Balanchine. Solos, duets, and group dances are arranged as responses to vintage photographs and films capturing the experimental poses, gestures, and steps of such radical choreographers as Balanchine, Nikolai Foregger, Goleizovsky, Lev Lukin, Vera Maiia, and Alexander Rumnev. In this way, Moto-Bio becomes a present-day interpretation of the Russian experiment in movement -- one that countered (but sometimes also incorporated) the traditions of the Imperial Ballet of turn of the century Russia. Within a single dance sequence, therefore, Moto-Bio presents the singular innovations -- constructive, plastic, and organic -- of the modern movement, both avant-garde and neo-classical.


The professionalism and artistic legitimacy of the performance will be greatly aided by the participation of 5 world class dancers. For a list of their biographies, please visit this link.

     The performance program will be directed, staged and choreographed by Lorin Johnson, former member of Baryshnikov's American Ballet Theatre and frequent lecturer of dance in major US Universities (for details go to: http://www-scf.usc.edu/~lej)


      The spheres of classical and modern dance have rarely fused so tightly as they did during the years immediately following the Russian Revolution of October, 1917, providing an important precedent for today's modern dance repertoire. Here was a period of numerous discoveries and innovations in rhythm and movement that were encouraged by the new theaters, schools and “laboratories” of experimental dance established in the young Soviet republic. The ramifications of these changes in the dance world as a whole cannot be overstated, for even current choreographic trends in America trace their lineage to the severe experimentation of the late George Balanchine -- whose exposure to the Russian avant-garde prompted a fundamental reassessment of the Imperial classical style via Diaghilev's Ballets Russes and fashioned the common features of contemporary ballet, especially in America. The Russian avant-garde produced an amalgam of ideas relating to rhythm, movement, and expression that transformed the conventions of choreography, transcription, and dance movement itself.
     Choreographers such as Goleizovsky, trained in the classical canon of Imperial St. Petersburg, followed in the footsteps of Michel Fokine by creating new “miniatures” -- abstract dances intended to express mood rather than narrative which pushed the boundaries of the classical lexicon just as the socio-political revolution itself was undermining and destroying established traditions in the visual, literary, and performing arts. Informed by the free dances of Duncan and the rhythmic gymnastics of Dalcroze, Goleizovsky and other innovators incorporated a wide array of media and disciplines from acrobatics to plastic movement in order to elaborate a new language of movement which could interact with the music of modern composers such as Skriabin and Prokofiev. Similar experiments flourished with Stravinsky's music for his several ballets, and Balanchine's 1928 production of Apollon Musagète, for example, set the stage for a Neo-Classical movement that changed the way dancers and choreographers viewed their repertoire, musical interpretation, and very lexicon of step and gesture. In any case, by developing and promoting choreographers who transcended the boundaires of classical dance (Balanchine, Fokine, Leonid Massine, Bronislava Nijinska, and Vaslav Nijinsky), Diaghilev created a Gesamkunstwerk which could integrate the Decadence of Leon Bakst, the Primitivism of Goncharova and Larionov, the Cubism of Picasso, and the Rococo esthetic of Alexandre Benois.