EZ Pass is the newest collaborative work of longtime dance partners and improvisers Laurie Berg and Bessie McDonough-Thayer. EZ Pass follows the path of least resistance, as the choreography cuts and loops around itself to reflect the added dimension of multiple pairings passing to and fro as Laurie, Bessie, and special guests perform increasingly complex displays of the choreography to comic effect. They move from object duets to human duets to object human duets, creating the space to opt in or out as relationships shift from said duets to quartets to solos to nothing at all. Your worst nightmare. Karl Scholz creates an original driving sound score, and Michael DiPietro adds beautifully crafted costumes and props.
Laurie and Bessie began making work together in 2008. Their collaborative work has been shown as part of Charles Atlas Presents The Kitchen Follies, WeisAcres Sundays on Broadway, BAX Site Lines curated by Catherine Galasso, Mount Tremper Arts, Movement Research Fall Festival 2018, 303 Gallery, Dixon Place, CounterPulse San Francisco, WiM Festival, and Movement Research at the Judson Church.
Bessie McDonough-Thayer is an independent dance artist living in Brooklyn. Her solo work has been shown at Roulette, Danspace Project’s Food for Thought curated by Stacy Szymaszek, CPR New Voices in Live Performance Series, AUNTS at Arts@Renaissance, AUNTS PS122 Launch Party, Movement Research at Judson Church, and BRINK at Dixon Place. Most recently, she was the recipient of a Movement Research GPS grant for a 2-week residency program at ZIL Culture Center in Moscow, Russia. As a performer, she has worked with Jen Rosenblit, Sam Kim, Elena Demyanenko, Rebecca Brooks, Kat Galasso, Diana Crum, Vanessa Anspaugh, Molly Poerstel, Emily Wexler, Laurie Berg, and robbinschilds.
Laurie Berg makes work in a variety of forms including dance, performance, collage and jewelry. She is co-organizer of AUNTS, co-curated the Movement Research Spring Festival 2017, was the 2016 recipient of “The Tommy” Award and a 2016-17 LMCC Workspace Artist-In-Residence. Recent works include scape: Times Square (co-commission by Times Square Arts and Danspace Project), Terrifying Times Call For Terrifying Jewelry (Dixon Place) The Mineralogy of Objects (Danspace Project). Her jewelry, which plays with the juxtaposition of real and fake, new and old, precious and plastic, can be seen around the necks of many dance artists in NYC.
Laurie Berg & Bessie McDonough-Thayer: EZ Pass is presented as part of DANCEROULETTE and is supported, in part, by the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, the Harkness Foundation for Dance, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. EZ Pass was funded in part by an Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant.
Photos: Paula Court