Spotlight on Ate9's "calling glenn"

Feb 07, 2019


Ate9 - "calling glenn" Ate9 - "calling glenn"
Photo by Cheryl Mann Productions

Israeli-trained choreographer Danielle Agami has created a one-hour work of visceral honesty and offbeat humor in calling glenn, a collaboration with Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche. Here are some fast facts about the company, the collaboration, and the performance coming to Northrop on Feb 7.

Contrary to popular belief, calling glenn was not directly named after Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche, who performs on stage as part of the piece. Ate9 Artistic Director Danielle Agami named the piece for donor Glenn Kawasaki. Remarkably, just 24 hours after titling the work, Agami was introduced to Glenn Kotche’s music.

Agami is known for her work teaching and creating performances using Gaga Movement Language, which is a technique that relies on concepts and abstract interpretations rather than steps and positions like in ballet.

Kotche is known for his work with Wilco but also has ties to the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music Series. He composed for and performed with Third Coast Percussion on Wild Sound, a multimedia performance scored for everyday objects and custom-made instruments.

Using his expertise in creating sound from unconventional items, Kotche once showed Agami the small electronic bugs he uses on drums—along with grains of rice—to mimic the sound of rain. Ate9 then bought 20 electronic bugs at a toy store and those found their way into calling glenn’s choreography.

Agami favors working themes of awkwardness, embarrassment, and weakness into her choreography, noting that “We all go through times of awkwardness, and I am not afraid of that—not in movement, not in relationship with my dancers, and not in relationship with my audience. It’s OK to have an awkward moment.”

See a sneak peek of calling glenn.

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