My mission is to create unusual dance experiences about contemporary life. The process is driven by explorations in movement invention, improvisation, and pedestrian antics. Each project is different, but the body and its memories remain at the core of the work. To me, the body is a malleable vessel to explore ideas about evolving disidentities and aesthetics. Collaborations with artists from diverse backgrounds produce concerts that are high and lo-brow, elegant and grotesque — as we strive to disrupt rules of binary logic. These dances draw upon discordant sounds and images to highlight socio-political conflicts while demonstrating queer ideals in excess, difference, empathy, memory, and compassion. We invite audiences to contemplate rules that govern behavior and dance to liberate ourselves from them.
Kevin Williamson is a dance artist and teacher from Los Angeles. He received his BA and MFA in Choreography from UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance. His interdisciplinary works explore social issues through movement, media, text, and music. As artistic director of Kevin Williamson + Company, he’s received support from the Center for Cultural Innovation (Durfee), residencies from UCLA, PAM, and ARC Pasadena, is the recipient of a Lester Horton Award for Outstanding Achievement in Performance and recently was a Center Theatre Group Sherwood Award Finalist. His theater-dances have been presented at Danspace Project, REDCAT’s New Original Works Festival, CounterPULSE, Austin’s OUTsider Festival at the Salvage Vanguard Theatre, LA County Museum of Art, Diversionary Theatre San Diego, Highways Performance Space, Diavolo Performance Space, and the Beijing Dance Festival. He has also created original dances for LA Contemporary Dance Company, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles Movement Arts, and American Musical & Dramatic Academy.
Kevin also creates movement for opera and theatre. Working with director Peter Kazaras, he has created original choreography for productions L’enfant et les Sortileges, I Due Figaro, Down in the Valley, Lucrezia, and Bastianello for UCLA Opera, Cendrillon for the Juilliard School, and Le Nozze di Figaro for Washington National Opera. Collaborating with director Jackson Gay, he co-choreographed Sheila Callaghan’s Elevada for Yale Repertory Theatre and Rolin Jones’ These Paper Bullets for the Geffen Playhouse and Atlantic Theater Company. Recently he co-choreographed and performed in Elise Kermani’s Iphigenia: Book of Change, a performance project and film fusing literature, puppetry, theater, dance, video art, and music.
Kevin has performed and collaborated with distinguished artists and companies including David Rousseve/REALITY, Maria Gillespie’s Oni Dance, Kate Hutter and LA Conteporary Dance Company, David Gordon’s PickUpPerformance, Julie Taymor and Angelin Preljocaj for LA Opera, Robert Moses’s Kin, Stephan Koplowitz, Cheng-Chieh Yu, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre, Kate Hutter, Scott Benzel, Sebastian Prantl, Patricia Noworol, Ryan Heffington, Fatima Robinson, and David Bridel. Kevin has taught master classes at Jacob’s Pillow, CalArts, UW-Milwaukee, UIChampaign|Urbana, Montclair State, and Contemporary Dance Theater-Cincinatti and was previously a lecturer at UCLA and Loyola Marymount University. Currently, Williamson is a full time faculty member in the Scripps College Dance Department and member of the theater and television collective New Neighborhood. Kevin is also a certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst.
Trophy is an evening length dance from LA based choreographer Kevin Williamson and collaborators experimental composerJeepenys and video artist Cari Ann Shim Sham*. Performed this past year at Human Resources LA, Dixon Place (NYC), and REDCAT’s New Original Works Festival, Trophy heads to the Beijing Dance Festival this summer, where the company will teach master classes technique and repertory. In the dance, we find millennial performers Barry Brannum, Jasmine Jawato, and Kevin Le interrogating their social media personas with precision and sly humor… but as quotidian life dissolves into fragments of stop-n-go selfies, the protagonists are forced to contend with a reality governed by media authority, feelings of pervasive isolation, and a gnawing pressure to exhibit “success”. As they progress, their labor becomes a subversive dance – a quest for failure and a freedom to move with conflicting desires: to win and lose, to balance ambition and apathy, to be a hero and the monster. Quick, isolated movements, peculiar gestures, spoken text, and dramatic timing move to a beat-driven score of funky and surreal sounds by Jeepenys. Fueled by live media, Shim Sham* projects digital tableaus onto multiple surfaces of theater or gallery spaces that are overlapped by the dancer’s athletic shadows, placing the technical rigor into the pixelated world. Combined, these elements highlight a disjointed but virtuosic display of contemporary life – where competition, desire, and technology are always at play.
Photo Credit: “Trophy” – Taso Papadakis