Ceremonious/Unceremonious is a duet by Brontez Purnell and Sophia Wang, founders of the Brontez Purnell Dance Company.

“Ceremonious/Unceremonious combines fierce physicality with an episodic narrative structure that expands the vocabulary and syntax of signifying movement. The work juxtaposes the language and form of mixtape-influenced happening, folkloric dance, and contemporary swagger.”
-Brontez Purnell Dance Company

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The piece essentially picks up where the Brontez Purnell Dance Company’s The Episodes left off. Though instead of exploring the everyday as ritual, Ceremonious will distort, honor, and challenge the “Rite of Passage” in culture as we know it.

The two dancers position themselves as both the Masters of Ceremony and the party crashers. They both perform the rights, while never being afraid to ask “what makes this all so goddamn special” – not, mind you, in a mode of disrespect – but to explore the nuances of ceremony as led by the archetypal figure of The Trickster.

This new work finds form through text, movement, and the liberation of a field of white balloons that, as with rituals and rites, comes to signify what we need them to mean. The piece begins with physical exertion in conversation with meaning, and builds slowly and surely. We manifest the fundamental resistance and listlessness of the human psyche which begs “can we PLEASE get on with this already?!?!” Resistance becomes a crucial rite in itself: acknowledging both the appeal and the tyranny of our shared cultural scripts.

It is an evening length dance set to 25 minutes for The AIRspace Residency Program. This will be its debut public showing.

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