photo by Eric Hansen

SOUTHERN ROOTS installation is an hour long sight-specific performance that includes Exquisite Solidification (a recreation of Banning Bouldin's Murmuration) and structured improvisations inspired by the texture and form of Steve Tobin's Steelroots sculptures. 

Dancers & Choreographic Collaborators:

Becca Place, Curtis Thomas, David Flores, Emma Morrison, Erin Kouwe, James Barrett, Lizzy Graves, Mary Ruth Isbell, Rebecca Steinberg, Rosemarie Mientka, Sarah Salim

Rehearsal Assistant: Becky Allen

About Exquisite Solidification & Murmuration 

Drawing on inspiration from Tobin's Steelroots sculptural exhibit at Cheekwood, choreographer Banning Bouldin and New Dialect created a movement language steeped in the texture, form, scale, and color of Tobin's sculptures to explore what the dancers call "exquisite solidification". This process of imagining our collective bodies as liquid bronze that slowly cools over time, allows us to illustrate the melting and forming of our own organic sculptures that travel through space, reflecting the Steelroots back to themselves and amplifying their trajectories through our own dynamic movements.

Murmuration was originally commissioned and created for Intersection New Music Ensemble's debut performance at the Platform in March 2015. The piece was re-envisioned and recreated to engage with the tree root sculptures and gardens of Cheekwood.

On Murmuration's original conception:

The rich moments of transcendental harmony juxtaposed by abrasive outbursts and swells in Sofia Gubaidulina’s “Concordanza” reminded me of the murmurations of starlings- the ways hundreds of birds take flight and form liquid-like masses that morph in shape and size as they travel in near perfect harmony. 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 launching pad for my choreographic process.
— Banning Bouldin

We are grateful to our sponsors and community partners who made this performance possible:

The Rich Foundation

Metro Parks and Recreation Dance Division

Kathryn Wilkening

Friends of New Dialect

P3: Precision • Physical Therapy • Pilates


photo: Scott Arenz

photo: Scott Arenz