Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC) will present por instantes, a Barcelona-based performance group led by choreographer Julia Koch and theater director Daniel Zippi, Thursday through Saturday (7:30PM) and Sunday (2PM), June 14-17 in BAC's Howard Gilman Performance Space. For this, the company's U.S. debut, por instantes will perform the U.S. Premiere of La Travesía (2011), a work developed in residence at BAC in which music, movement, and text are combined to create dance theater episodes from passing moments at an urban intersection.
For more than two decades, Daniel Zippi has been active in New York City's downtown theater scene, performing with experimental companies including The Wooster Group and Ridge Theater, and touring throughout the United States and Europe. Zippi met choreographer Julia Koch through a collaboration with Ridge Theater and the Tanztheater-Staatstheater Darmstadt in Germany in 2004. Koch, then a dancer with Staatstheater Darmstadt, is a German native who studied choreography at the Institut del Teatre in Barcelona, where she now lives. In 2010, Zippi and Koch formed a collective of performers, musicians, and designers, drawing from the rich creative community of artists in Barcelona, both immigrant and native born. The group's name, "por instantes," or "by moments," represents a key theme in the newly established company's body of work. To date, this comprises a three-part series of evening-length dance theater works that explore the nature of brief encounters in public spaces.
In La Travesía, the second work in the series, an urban intersection is utilized as a point of departure in an intimate, improvised theater setting where the audience surrounds the performers. To a soundscape of original acoustic and electronic compositions, that rise from and fall into ambient recordings taken from the streets of Barcelona, the performer-pedestrians enter the crossroad. What would be insignificant, passing moments are expanded into dance theater episodes, with movements ranging from contemporary dance, to international folk traditions, to club dancing. Occasional abstract dialogues in Castellano, Catalan, and English add another layer of expression.