“Morituri te Salutant” translates in roman to “those who are about to die, salute you” and was a phrase that the ancient gladiators would proclaim in the colosseum. This work has layering commentary about how violence functions in our world. What’s glorified by the masses? What’s not? The imagery in this work pulls from many eras & violences: The title (ancient Rome), the dog masks (twentieth century USA “dogs of war”), stripped workout attire (1936 Olympics in German), the projection across the back wall (literal guns & knives), choreographic fight scenes, etc.
Performed at Northrop Auditorium at the University of Minnesota for a donor gala. The piece was performed with a live vocalist and the University of Minnesota Jazz Band.
Inspired and driven by the delightful textile art of Anne Swan (deceased), this witty work represented a new subtly playful direction for BLM.
Developed from a work-in-progress created for the James Sewell Ballet's 2017 Balletworks series, this piece explores the idea of "team," an idea near and dear to the heart of BLM artistic director Carl Flink.
This piece was commission as part of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Young People’s Concert series (“The Color of Sound”) in which young students around the state field tripped to Orchestra Hall to gain exposure to the arts in a new way, and to possibly spark an unknown fire within a young person’s soul'.
The Music: Inspired by Johannes Brahms and his Hungarian Dances, Antonin Dvorak decided to write a series of 16 dances called Slavonic Dances. Originally written for piano, Dvorak later orchestrated the dances for the full symphony orchestra. Unlike Brahms who used actual folk melodies in his music, Dvorak used dance rhythms found in traditional Slavic music and then composed his own original melodies.
During the concert, you’ll hear Slavonic Dance, Op.46, No. 8 in G Minor. This dance is called a “furiant.” A furiant is just like it sounds—fast and furious—and often has accents (strong, emphasized sounds) in unexpected places. It will definitely keep you on your toes!
BLM was commission as part of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Young People’s Concert series (“The Color of Sound”) in which young students around the state field tripped to Orchestra Hall to gain exposure to the arts in a new way, and to possibly spark an unknown fire within a young person’s soul'
This work was originally commissioned for the 2014 American Dance Festival's Foot Prints Series.
How did an unlikely collaboration become so fruitful? Biomed engineer David Odde asked Black Label Movement dancers to help him interpret science, gaining insights into his own research in the process.
In March 2012, BLM and John Bohannon presented a new TED talk at the TED-Ed: Full Spectrum Conference in Long Beach, CA entitled ‘Let’s Talk About Sex’. The presentation considers how clear scientific information can be useful in helping young people wrestle with the awakening of their sexuality.
“What would you tell your younger self about sex if you could? (Starting with the big question: Why does it exist in the first place?) Mixing talk and dance, John Bohannon and Black Label Movement explore why sex exists — and implore adults to talk honestly to the kids in their lives about the confusion and joy of human sexuality.” -TED-Ed
‘Canary’, a dance for nine, is an examination of the superficial formalities that attempt to contain more primal urges in the landscape of a surrealistic ballroom/prom night. Original soundscape by Greg Brosofske. Canary was underwritten the American Composers Forum’s Live Music for Dance Minnesota program in partnership with New Music USA.
Performed at 2011’s TEDx event in Brussels, ‘Zero Gravity Dance’ is a speculation in movement on the unique capabilities of earthbound dancers to navigate zero gravity environments. Spacewalk is aimed to exhibit that dancers are the best equipped to follow the astronaut into space. Black Label Movement is ready to blast off.
‘Dance vs. Powerpoint: A Modest Proposal’ examines the utility of collaborations between scientists and dance artists as well as raising the question of whether powerpoint presentations are overused in today’s global culture. First presented at the 2011 TEDx Brussels with Science Magazine correspondent John Bohannon, their TED talk has gone on to be an internet hit on TED’s website and YouTube with over 800,000 collective views.
‘For She’ is a physical character study of a woman fighting for survival on the verge collapse.
‘For She’ premiered in November 2011 at The Walker Art Center.
A full choreographic commission by the Minnesota Orchestra, ‘Oceania’ is a pure movement response to Claude Debussy’s classical masterpiece La Mer. The work by Debussy is itself an exploration of the motions and moods of the ocean. ‘Oceania’ finds a movement synthesis with the sonic landscape painted by Debussy’s composition. ‘Oceania’ premiered in March 2011 at Orchestra Hall with the Minnesota Orchestra.
‘HIT’ is inspired by the exploration of impact that came directly from BLM’s ongoing collaboration with biomedical engineer David Odde on the physically violent interior of the cell. The work takes this technique of impact and applies it to a scathing examination of human relationships in which the prohibition against violent physicality is removed. Original soundscape by Greg Brosofske. HIT was underwritten the McKnight Artist Fellowship for Choreographers Program and the American Composers Forum’s Live Music for Dance Minnesota program in partnership with New Music USA, with matching funds provided by the McKnight Foundation. HIT premiered in March 2011 at The Dance Center of Columbia College of Chicago.
HIT was nominated for a 2012 Sage Award.