RTV: Ayano Elson: A Gardener

Release Date: Monday, December 13, 2021


Roulette TV sits down with mover Ayano Elson to discuss her performance, A Gardener—presented at Roulette in June 2021.

A Gardener was created by Ayano Elson in collaboration with lighting designer LD DeArmon, composer Matt Evans, video designer Hyung Seok Jeon, and writer and dancer Lydia Okrent. From a position at the center of the world’s oppressive imperial power, the piece explores a new future we can reach through democratic and egalitarian collaboration, through active participation and consensus-building. Elson and her co-creators examine the specifics and potentialities—colors, sounds, and scripts of text—that exist when the hierarchy between maker and performer disappears, revealing pieces of textures, patterns, and rhythms that are deeply human and connected. They work to construct a new language from these fragments, generating a whole that celebrates desire, pleasure, and conflict.

“During the course of this performance’s creation, Lydia Okrent (writer, dancer, and dramaturge) wrote a text. This writing grows out of conversational narcissism, Anne Boyer, landscape design, Alain Badiou, Wikipedia, and the choreography involved in developing a point of view through distance and difference. Matt Evans (composer and percussionist) put together a playlist with music that inspires tomorrow’s show. Lydia, Matt, Hyung Seok, and LD are the most imaginative people I’ve met and these objects are part of their creative practice in making A Gardener.”

—Ayano Elson

Episode produced by Jim Staley
Directed by Wolfgang Daniel