In making Stay, choreographer Mohr was drawn to painter Francis Bacon's commitment to subverting narrative in his creative process through the use of "free marks"-- throwing paint and other improvisational procedures designed to bring chaos into an otherwise carefully composed canvas. In making the dance, Mohr drew on the co-existence, in Bacon's work, of formal composition and difficult subject matter. Rather than recreate Bacon's imagery, Stay echoes the impact of a Bacon painting: visceral punch, emotional disturbance.
Core creative questions:
How can I stay longer with uncomfortable imagery?
How do I build “not holding back” into the work’s sense of time?
How can I inhibit compositional habits of interruption in order to stay with imagery longer?
How can I balance emotional and formal concerns in the creative process?
“An illustrational form tells you through the intelligence immediately what the form is about, whereas a non-illustrational form works first upon sensation and then slowly leaks back into the fact….[t]he moment the story is elaborated, the boredom sets in; the story talks louder than the paint.” –Francis Bacon
Performers: Tegan Schwab*, Lindsey Renee Derry*, James Graham*, Michael Galloway*, Patrick Barnes*, Parker Murphy, Jane Selna
Sound: Teddy Hulsker
Costumes: Tiffany Amundson
Lighting Design: David Szlasa
*denotes original cast member
Premiere: May 28, 2015, ODC Theater
Additional performances: The Battery, Stanford University
Writing About Process
against translation in defense of inaccessibility
“beautifully layered work with some of the Bay Area's individually strongest dancers”
-- Rita Felciano, "Two Ways of Shaping," Dance View Times, May 28, 2015
“A mix of spontaneity, care, rigor and being present in the moment”
-- Heather Desaulniers, "The Diversity of Authorship: In Conversation with Hope Mohr," In Dance, May 1, 2015