A Rugged Shore

On Friday May 18 and Saturday May 19 at 8pm, Human Landscape Dance of Washington DC and Susan Cook of Nova Scotia present A Rugged Shore, an artistic exploration of common ground for Canadians and Americans, at Joe's Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Rd, Mount Rainier MD. Click here to buy tickets

Amanda Abrams and Alexander Short in Penelope and Odysseus

In A Rugged Shore, Human Landscape Dance features the human side of two Greek myths: Icarus and The Odyssey. Our Icarus, played by the stunning Amanda Abrams, climbs upon, leaps onto, or rolls over the shoulders and backs of Daedalus, played by 3 performers. It is a story about parents and children and the weight of family relationships. "Penelope and Odysseus" zeroes in on the troubled relationship of this famous couple. They spend their first night together, after his 20-year odyssey, fighting over the sheet. The story depicts relearning to love someone over the years.

Cook, a graduate of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, professional dancer, certified Stott Pilates & Gyrokinesis teacher, and a passionate student of Capoeira, will improvise a duet, "Blind Date," with Shute as a part of the concert. Both are interested in how such differently-trained dancers, from two different parts of the continent, will find common or perhaps, uncommon ground.

Human Landscape Dance will premiere North American Dreams, a group work that explores the many ways in which the American dream may be realized. Accompanying this work, dance expert Karen Bradley will read an essay describing her search for the American dream, and finding it in Canada.


News Release:
"Inside and Everywhere" rejects sugar and spice and everything nice. Set to "My Favorite Things," the dance displays an edgy rigor that belies the softness of the lyrics. Swooping low into a crouch, Cook rises on one leg in arabesque, suspended as if by a hook. She drops into a capoeirista lunge, then rolls through her shoulders to stand. With a mixture of ronds de jambe and high kicks, Cook juxtaposes her ballet and martial arts training. Read the full release here!

Amanda Abrams, Malcolm Shute, and Alexander Short in Icarus and Daedalus

Previous Collaboration:
On Saturday July 30 at 7pm, Human Landscape Dance and dance artist Susan Cook, in collaboration with dance expert Karen Bradley, presented Blind Date, an evening of contemporary dance at DANSpace-on-Grafton, 1531 Grafton St, Hallifax NS. This event was preceded by a workshop for movers and shakers of all kinds from 10am-1pm. Participants in the workshop performed in the evening concert in an improvised score developed by Malcolm Shute

Read Artistic Director Malcolm Shute's reflections on the Blind Date concert/workshop.

Icarus and Daedalus:
Our dance "Icarus and Daedalus" explores this myth with special attention to the sometimes strained relationships of parents and children.The dance is a series of swoops and swings. Abrams dives from one set of arms to another, clambers up on our backs, kicks away--only to be caught by a new body before she falls. There is a terrestrial quality to her flight: Abrams depends on the rest of the company to hold her up. Read more about this dance.

Penelope and Odysseus:
The final section, "Odysseus Comes Home," depicts Odysseus and Penelope's first night together after his 20-year voyage. This is less a story of sexual compatibility, than of sleep compatibility. Sharing a bed is an act of love, but also a practical matter. Difficulties arise when one partner likes to sleep without a blanket, but the other always sleeps with one; when one partner snores; if there is a dip in the bed so that one partner is always squished; when one partner can't sleep, but doesn't want to disturb the other; etc. It takes time to work through such matters, as in so many areas of marriage. Read more about this dance.

Human Landscape Dance:
Human Landscape Dance is a contemporary dance company based in Washington DC. Our work has been described as "…pitch-perfect and an element of humor and suspense is subtly added…" (Philadelphia Inquirer). Our dances explore relationships: ways in which people connect, disconnect, make nice, be cruel, make love, or make space for themselves. Touch is our medium. Bodies mold together in unexpected ways: a leg stretched across a shoulder, a thumb pressing under a chin, or two bodies so entwined that one covers the other completely. The human dance of love, hate, parting, and supporting are played out in different degrees of touch. Founded in 2006, Human Landscape Dance has performed in Philadelphia PA, Halifax NS, and London UK.