February 02, 2010

John Bush films to premiere at RMA

Tomorrow night at the Rubin Museum of Art in NYC the filmmaker John Bush (Vajra Sky Over Tibet) will be premiering two new dance films, Absence Presence and Dream On Me, featuring the choreography of Nadine Helstroffer. This screening will include a discussion and Q & A with Bush, Helstroffer, and Buddhist Psychotherapist Michael Vincent Miller, PhD.

For more information click here.

"John Bush sets a benchmark for integrity and compassion in filmmaking."- National Gallery of Australia

Rubin Museum of Art

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ed weinstein's picture

DREAM ON ME and ABSENCE PRESENCE Review 2/4/10
InfiniteBody - Eva Yaa Asantewa
Bush and Helstroffer: To dream without cease

The Himalayan imagery on display in Chelsea's classy Rubin Museum of Art has found a champion in Nadine Helstroffer, a French-born dancer-choreographer with a Ph.D. in Philosophy. Helstroffer's commissioned solo, Absence Presence, was premiered in the Rubin's special exhibition gallery, surrounded by Eternal Presence: Handprints and Footprints in Buddhist Art. The record of that performance--filmed by John Bush, edited with exquisite sensitivity by Brent Felker--received its world premiere last night at the Rubin along with another Bush film the quite enchanting Dream on Me.
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Helstroffer's snaky dancing evokes the couple's shared spirituality and pleasure in nature; her perpetually inward expression gives a poetic, even solemn flavor to her work. But she is not just Bush's ethereal muse but also his anchor. Like the hyper-energized, exalted beings at the center of the Tibetan images that flicker through Absence Presence, Helstroffer acts as the radiant core from which Bush's loveliest light can flow in the dream-inspired Dream on Me. The ripples of reflections in water; the deep, resonant clang of super-saturated color; the languorous bobbing of blossom-laden trees in lingering moments of drowsy beauty and gentle humor: They all seem sourced and grounded in this iconic performer.
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A flowing composite of the four seasons… overall, strategies for overlapping color-bearing dancers with natural or manufactured environments speak to the complexity of notions of permanence and impermanence. What is eternal? What is fleeting? Rigid skyscrapers? Mounds of snow? Wafting saffron banners? Elusively drifting bodies of flesh and bone?

A Q&A followed the screening in which Helstroffer and Bush were joined on stage by Michael Vincent Miller, PhD, a Buddhist psychotherapist. Miller offered thoughtful insights--about engagement with and consideration of art, about empathetic surrender in the moment, about the similarities between wellness in health and in art--that he made me wonder if the future of really useful dance criticism might not actually lie in Buddhist psychotherapy!

(edited version)

John Bush At Rubin « Pink Is Not An Appropriate Color's picture

[...] of our CaberetCinema functions (fun stuff-films/drinks/discussions), and I was greatly moved by the John Bush films shown. There were two, Abscence/Presence and Dream on Me. These were simply choreographed [...]