“Everything is Moving”: Leah Stein Dance Company explores DEEP LISTENING

Pauline Oliveros

Pauline Oliveros

Composer Pauline Oliveros once said, “At all times, everything is moving.” For the last year, Philadelphia choreographer Leah Stein has put that to the test. Stein, seven dancers and seven singers have used Oliveros’s Deep Listening practice to investigate dance, music, and theater composition. Their research will culminate in VOICE/MOVEMENT, a (FREE!) public showing on Sunday, June 1.

Oliveros is a pioneer in American music. Former director of the Center of Music Experiment and an instructor at University of California at San Diego, she has spent the last four decades exploring sound and forging new ground through improvisation, electronic music, ritual, teaching, and meditation, and has performed her one-of-a-kind style at museums and alternative venues across the globe. Investigating the concept that ““Silence is alive,”  Oliveros’s Deep Listening research introduced the concept of incorporating all environmental sounds into musical performance.

pauline-oliveros-leah-stein-voice-movementLeah Stein Dance Company dancers and singers have collaborated with Oliveros to lay the foundation of a listening-based methodology of vocal improvisation/composition with Stein’s movement improvisation practice. The ensemble worked with noted Philadelphia theater artist Adrienne Mackey and improvisational vocal scores by Germaine Ingram.

“So much of this process has been about inquiry,” said Stein. “We want to let the audience have that experience. We want to invite them to participate.” The June 1 performance will include a panel discussion moderated by Anna Drozdowski featuring Oliveros, Stein, and others. Audiences will also be invited to participate in the research to see how Oliveros’s practice relates to movement art. [The Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine Street] June 1, 2014, leahsteindanceco.org.

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About the author

Christopher Munden

Your faithful correspondent and publisher Christopher Munden has written and edited for many publications, websites, and cultural institutions. He was an editor/publisher of the Philly Fiction book series, collections of short stories written by local writers and set in Philadelphia. He's also a soccer coach and a pretty good skier.