Random International Presents The Debut Of BODY / LIGHT, Performances By New York Theatre Ballet
May. 6, 2021
Random International is set to illuminate Brookfield Properties’ Manhattan West, an emerging NYC destination that will transform the new west side this year, with the debut of Body / Light I on May 6. The immersive art installation will take hold of Manhattan West’s two-acre public plaza, across the street from the host location of Frieze New York 2021. Playing off ephemeral moments of light and raw movement, the immersive outdoor art installation will be the premier exhibit to take hold of Manhattan West, dazzling New Yorkers and Frieze attendees. This interactive installation will feature live music performances from Brooklyn-based musician Lester St Louis and intimate, improvisational dance from New York Theatre Ballet.
Presented by Arts Brookfield, Superblue and BMW, Body / Light I will bring the open-air plaza to life this May amidst Frieze New York’s return to the city. Manhattan West’s inaugural public art experience, the exhibition is part of Random International’s Body / Light series, which draws inspiration from Pablo Picasso’s famed ‘light drawings’ for LIFE magazine in 1949. Captured by Gjon Mili, the ephemeral experiments in self-creation explored the long exposure technique, allowing Picasso’s sketches in light to hang suspended in air on still film. Seeking to reflect a shift in authorship from a single creator to collective and multi-disciplinary creation processes, Random International took inspiration from a year-long collaboration with BMW i and the precise, minimalist culture of their design group as well as the technologies enabling the electrification of mobility in order to develop this new body of work.
Random International’s artists introduce the series through interactive outdoor installations, providing a platform and creation process that is instinctively and widely accessible to the public. Beginning May 6, Body / Light I viewers are invited to take part in the experiential exhibition by drawing with their bodies as their movements are temporarily traced in light. The emphasis is on the physicality of the shared experience of creation and the documentation of this process in all its rawness, imperfection, and beauty.
To echo and foster the improvisational spirit of the work, Body / Light I will be presented with a score performed live by composer and multi-instrumental musician Lester St. Louis, along with scheduled choreographic responses to the sculpture by three dancers from New York Theatre Ballet. These elements will enthrall passersby and visitors with alluring, powerful moments of light and music, dancing throughout the exhibition.
Body / Light I is on display in Manhattan West’s public plaza for a limited engagement from 4:00pm – 9:00pm on Thursday, May 6 and Friday, May 7. On Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9, interventions will take place from 1:00 to 9:00pm. Each day, three performances by New York Theatre Ballet dancers and musician Lester St. Louis will occur between 6:30 and 8:30pm. At all other times, there will be pre-recorded compositions by Lester St. Louis. Installation and performances are free to the public.
“The integration of immersive artworks and stellar curatorial experiences into our destinations is a key pillar for our development projects in New York and beyond,” said Elysa Marden, Senior Vice President, Arts Brookfield for Brookfield Properties. “We are honored to partner with renowned artists on Body / Light I, Manhattan West’s first foray into public contemporary art experiences. As the neighborhood comes to life, we look forward to establishing Manhattan West as a pivotal creative hub for neighbors, art enthusiasts and visitors. Manhattan West will be the canvas for New York’s leading public works of art, cultural moments and theatrical presentations, such as Theatre for One in August, and much more in the seasons to come.”
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Arts Brookfield and BMW to present Random International’s new work Body/Light I at Manhattan West, with exceptional dance and music performances by local talents,” said Kathleen Forde, Senior Curator, Superblue. “This collaboration encapsulates one of Superblue’s core activities of bringing interactive, time-based and multidisciplinary artworks into the public space, and we’re excited to pursue this partnership with more artist projects to come later this year.”
Random International has incorporated dance and music into the presentation to create moments of exploration and introduce elements of humanness in order to inspire spontaneous, authentic participation from viewers. Brooklyn-based cellist and multi-instrumental musician, Lester St Louis’s live performances will accompany the improvisational movement of three New York Theatre Ballet dancers each day. New York’s most dynamic multifaceted neighborhood with over two acres of public greenspace, Manhattan West will emerge as one of the city’s preeminent public platforms for theatrical entertainment and the arts. The anticipated opening of Body / Light I kicks off a series of programming by Arts Brookfield for the Manhattan West neighborhood.
Source: Broadway World