felt room is an installation designed to conjure imagination, speculation and perception, engaging viewers in a practice of vibrant potentiality.
In the darkness of the felt room viewers are offered an escape from a world of constant illumination. Energy, vibration, intimacy and imagination are the primary materials at play. Dancers move into and out of the darkness, transforming our perceptual field. Unfolding somatic landscapes offer an opportunity for a deeply felt personal experience, one that can be at once disorienting, deeply therapeutic and profoundly energizing.
In this cultural moment what we see and what we consume from our screens dominates our understanding of the world. felt room provides a much needed respite, and opportunity to acknowledge and practice other ways of knowing and imagining. felt room is a space for sleeping, dreaming, visioning, and co-imagining. Through its visual absence this dance heightens the volume of the audience’s imagination freeing it from mental constraints as there are no handles in the dark and no ways to mark time. felt room as a feminist space will draw viewers into space of fluid folding and transformation.
“From darkness to dimness to light – the “felt room” was a revelation. It’s rare to confront your own physical and emotional hesitancies while watching a performance. It felt good to feel the heart pump a bit when confronted with uncertainty.” Caroline Palmer. Read the full review here.
“I’d recommend the felt room to anyone who feels like their imagination is powerful but held captive to their own mental restraints.” Carleton College dance student. Read more reviews by Carleton students here.
“felt room’s sensory deprivation and corporeal immersion roots the audience’s bodies within themselves, while interconnecting them with the performers. Dark and deep with animal flashes of breath and circadian cycles of sound and light the work re-wilds our architecture. Stretching between amazement, fear, and tenderness Bieringa’s piece is a dream of life at its most instinctual.” artist and audience member Sean Smuda
“At first there was excitement and fear. Figures moving past seemed to have animal heads. I thought I saw a wolf or a dog and my eyes were playing tricks on me. Rods and cones carving out washes in blue and light orange. And then suddenly in a burst of clarity I could see! The room and everyone in it now completely visible. I could hear a heartbeat. Tears came to my eyes as I was awash in the feeling of being a human. Right here in this moment. Not with my thinking mind, or my past, or my story about myself but exactly in this very moment.” Bernie Jungle, audience feedback from the Headlands Center for the Arts
- The White Page Gallery, Minneapolis, Feb 29-30, 2017
- Perlman Teaching Museum at Carleton College, January 13- February 23, 2017. Curator Sandra Teitge gave a talk “On Dance Constructions, Plastic, and Public Collections – female minds & bodies in museums”
- Headlands Center for the Arts, May 2016
Performers include Anna Marie Shogren, Sarah Baumert, Arwen Wilder, Emma Barber and Olive Bieringa with sound by Justin Jones and light by Mike Wangen.
Support for this project comes from Carleton College, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and Alumni New Works grant and residency from the Headlands Center for the Arts, and an Arts Activity Grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council
Movement developed in collaboration with Rebecca Haseltine, Kevin Dockery, Otto Ramstad, Utam Moses, Kosta Bogoievski, Josie Archer, Anna Marie Shogren, Sarah Baumert, Arwen Wilder, Emma Barber, and Carleton College dancers Thu Nguyen, Annie Richardson, Kathryn Peneyra, Hettie Stern, Alison Ball, and Erin Arntson
Special thanks to Otto Ramstad, Judith Howard, Laurel Bradley, Teresa Lenzen, Christina Chang, Wu Chen, Wes Winship, and Piotr Szyhalski.