Most local audiences know Daniel Charon as the new Artistic Director of Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company (his recent work for the company has been reviewed on 15 Bytes here and here). What they may not know is that his dancing identity not only includes artistic direction and choreography but also a long career as a performer.
This Sunday at January’s 12 Minutes Max, Charon will be performing “Synthesis,” a new solo that combines various analog and digital elements to create a hybrid performance experience.
Charon notes that the expectations at 12 Minutes Max, an informal works-in-progress series at the Salt Lake City Main Library, is different than working with a company. Performing a new solo doesn’t carry the pressure of a major production and it is a place he can revisit his past: “There is a personal goal of performing, something I used to do for a living for many years. I don’t really perform any more and when I think back, that performer seems like an entirely different person living an entirely different life. I think I need to touch base with that person and…experience that reality again.”
The material he’s using to explore that performing identity is a new work but also part of a “collage of ideas,” that he’s been exploring with Ririe-Woodbury.
About his current explorations he writes:
The effect technology is having on our human evolution is really almost like a thesis for me right now. I’m engaged in the research around it and think movement is an excellent medium to explore the associated ideas of liveliness and the curious line between the physical and the digital. I’m also really interested in this sort of extended exploration around a particular topic. I’m fascinated how in dance we premiere a piece and it appears to be done. This is true in one sense, because dance truly does live in a moment. But often I find there is so much unused research or the piece sparks a new avenue to explore so I’m really giving myself time this year to embed myself in a particular area of exploration.
As he engages with these shifting ideas, Charon values the spirit of experimentation at 12 Minutes Max, calling it “a great platform for artists to try things out without the pressure of a final product. These performances can be very stimulating and the opportunity to hear from the audiences is valuable. There’s usually one question or comment that unexpectedly jars my imagination or reveals something I didn’t see before.”
He also enjoys sharing that feedback with other artists. After relocating to Salt Lake City, Charon immediately began a collaboration with SLEE and hopefully 12 Minutes Max reveals new potential collaborators.
January’s 12 Minutes Max happens Jan. 10 at 2 p.m. at Salt Lake City’s Main Library auditorium. Also featured: Natasha Hoffman will present three short films that feature performances and artwork from TURN City Center for the Arts, an art program for adults with developmental disabilities. Andrew Shaw will perform an improvisational sound piece with several elements including loop pedals, guitar and voice.
This article is published in collaboration with loveDANCEmore.org