Site Specific Installation on the grounds of Cheekwood Botanical Gardens

  • Cheekwood Botanical Gardens 1200 Forrest Park Drive Nashville, TN, 37205 United States

This summer Cheekwood Botanical Gardens is exhibiting works from Steve Tobin's Steelroots collection throughout their grounds. The exhibition is entitled Southern Roots and features examples of Tobin's well known large-scale steel sculptures that each mimic the meandering structure of root systems.

As part of Cheekwood's First Thursday Nights in the Garden, New Dialect will be staging an hour-long, site specific iteration of Banning's work Murmuration. Steve Tobin's sculptures and the limitless grounds of Cheekwood will serve as a playground for the dancers while they draw inspiration from the concepts of Murmuration and Tobin's works to compose and improvise dances in various locations throughout the botanical gardens.

The installation will be accompanied live by Intersection contemporary music ensemble's rendition of Sophia Gubaidulina's "Concordanza."  

Originally commissioned by Intersection for their debut concert Transfiguration in March 2015, Murmuration draws on the flocking patterns of starlings to interpret the vast and peripatetic landscape of "Concordanza."

"Upon first listen the enormity of "Concordanza" was intimidating, which is why I choose to work with it. The rich moments of transcendental harmony juxtaposed by the sometimes abrasive outbursts and unpredictable shifts and swells in the music put me in mind of the murmurations of starlings—the way hundreds of creatures take flight to form liquid-like masses that morph in shape and size as they travel in near perfect harmony, seemingly of one mind. And yet these same birds, when alone or in smaller groupings, possess a playful erraticism of sharp and delicate movements that provide a marvelous contrast to the fluidity of their mass formations. These images became the point of departure for my choreographic process."  

-Banning Bouldin on the creation of Murmuration