“Contemporary dance is very challenging to audiences and that’s normal,” Pamela Tzeng says, “audiences have to be comfortable with interpreting something and seeing new vocabulary [of movement].” A new vocabulary of movement is what is being created in Tzeng’s Make Shift Project, an evening of dance with two performances: The Box I Came In and 8 x 3 Performance Series. The first piece, The Box I Came In is a solo choreographed by Kenji Takagi, performed by Tzeng that explores memory, adaptation and attempts to assimilate when thrown into a new world. 8×3 Performance Series invites eight creative artists to develop a concise 3-minute performance that centers around three elements that they were given two weeks prior to the performance. They can incorporate the three elements in any way they want into their piece.
“We played a lot with discussion with different parts of the body,” Tzeng says of her solo, “What it’s like to adapt and move away, what it’s like to adapt and assimilate. To move away and re-assimilate.” The piece is focused on self examination and redefining the unknown. It’s about the “cultural context and what baggage you bring when you’re moving into a new place.”
8×3 Performance Series is an innovative creative platform that Tzeng was inspired to build with the goal to “challenge the creative process.” The unique aspect of this performance series is that all of the artists are given the same three elements, which creates an interesting lense to see what direction each artist takes their pieces. “There is a broad range of what is dance and what is performance, they kind of bleed into each other sometimes,” Tzeng explains, “I’m looking to share the vast spectrum of what it can be.”
The Make Shift Project presents The Box I Came In and 8×3 Performance Series August 9th and 10th and Dancer Studio West Theatre. Tickets and more information is available here.