= Foundry Project 2012 & Tour 2013 =
“No Hero”  = = = = = = = =

Recipient of the 2011 National Eben Demerest Award.
Recipient of the 2011 Princess Grace Foundation Special Project
Supported by 
The Maggie Allesee National Center For Choreography (MANCC)
No Hero was nominated for a 2012 Isadora Duncan Award for 
Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design.

In 2012 The Foundry worked on a project called No Hero. 

Director Alex Ketley has spent nearly thirty years dancing and performing in a wide range of situations, which include small regional schools, touring internationally as a member of a large ballet company, improvising in diverse outdoor environments in the search for how place affects the generation of movement, and lastly spending the last twelve years choreographing, creating, and presenting his own work. It is a tremendous journey of information that has taken him through many different situations that have dramatically shaped who he is as an artist.

In 2010 he and the company completed a new work called Please Love Me which explored how jettisoning the idea of the audience performer relationship in a traditional sense creates the question; what is left of this interaction? In that question Ketley became more conscious of the struggles and nuance of connection generally, how personal connection is complicated and full of many different changing landscapes. Please Love Me explored loss, humor, frailty, rage, exuberance, and the feeling that performing artists can feel quite estranged from society generally. 

No Hero was the next large departure from the things learned from Please Love Me.

No Hero is a study on our country and all its tremendous diversity, beauty, confusion, and stratification economically and socially. On what it means to be a dancer, choreographer, and artist in this culture, Ketley felt he can no longer only create dance in the hidden confines of a dance studio. That the way to really create work and challenge himself was to travel extensively throughout the United States and create dance in the shopping malls, mountains, hotel lobbies, cities, peoples homes, rural towns, etc. He felt he needed to understand more fully what deeply wrought conceptual work means to people outside of the confines of the art and dance world. How making work directly in the public eye, and talking with the people he encountered and recording their thoughts and observations, he could then attempt to truly answer questions about his role as an artist and dance maker in society. The piece is a follow up to Please Love Me, in asking in a much broader sense what is connection through art to the everyday lives of Americans?

Inspiration comes from photographers like Stephen Shore who captured and reflected the broad America of his particular time, or how Mary Ellen Mark intimately captured the diversity of America’s people. The Foundry spent extensive time engaging dance with a similar feeling of personal and cultural curiosity.

The work explores how heroic temperaments affect culture generally, and in turn are deeply present in how many aspects of presentational dance is both created and performed. When mentioning heroic temperament, it is more the things that culture seems to value: beauty, wealth, success, fitness, etc. The reverence of these things seem to have a darker side within culture (and in parallel to this - the dance world). The questions Ketley asked are - can beauty be found and expressed in the rest of experience? In performance, can it be found in loss, frailty, failure, incompleteness, and fear? Can we work through performance in a way that is not relative to achievement? 

Can we reflect the full breadth, and not merely the idealized myths, of what it means to be human?

The culmination of this investigation was a series of performances where the company took the captured video material, dances, and texts gathered from our experiences on the road and created an evening length work. 

To read a review from the premiere of the work click:

No Hero Review

To see an except click: No Hero Excerpt

Performances 33333=4

No Hero premiered in San Francisco Saturday July 7th at 8pm at Z Space.

No Hero will be performed on tour in 2013 - 2014 in Los Angeles, San Francisco, 
Savannah, Sarasota, and Prineville Oregon. More details and dates at this website soon.