Aurora – Powered by Reliant is an immersive art, light and sound experience that will span the entire Dallas Arts District on the evening of October 16, 2015 from 7 p.m. – 2 a.m. More than 80 local and international artists and five noted curators will participate. The founders of Aurora and the nonprofit AT&T Performing Arts Center are proud producers of the event.
By Abbie Kopf ¦ Center Staff
Photo: Courtesy Danny Fulgencio
To Danielle Georgiou, all the world’s a stage. The Dallas dance provocateur has performed everywhere – warehouses, city streets, galleries, garages and anywhere else with ground to tread on and an audience to take it in. “I just want to create experiences that stick with people,” Georgiou says about her approach to dance. “I’m not interested in traditional models.” Georgiou incorporates video, music, narrative and even her audience members into her Avant Garde, collaborative and populist approach to dance.
Georgiou founded DGDG, a dance collective made up of about 20 artists, which is also the second part of Slik Stockings, a performance duo she’s created alongside Hillary Holsonback. DGDG and Slik Stockings will be joined by Dallas-based The Color Condition at Aurora 2015 for a piece entitled “Social Studies and Other To-Do’s.” Aurora just happens to fall on Georgiou’s birthday, October 16, and she’s using the date as inspiration for her celebratory piece. With her partners, they’re drawing from weddings, festivals and other cultural occasions where dance plays an important role.
“I’m Greek, and at weddings you’ll see this circular dance that everyone knows the steps to,” she explains. “Dance is utilized in virtually every culture to bring people together, and can be particularly powerful in a melting pot like the United States. No matter your language or background, movement makes sense to everyone and at the same time can expose you to different cultures or traditions.”
Those attending Aurora can work with Slik Stockings and The Color Condition to learn new dance steps, or take a turn at the Maypole that the artists will build and display. For those who don’t want to participate, the piece will be visual confetti – with vivid color and vibrant costumes to take in, without the confetti cleanup.
The piece will be located on the central campus of the nonprofit AT&T Performing Arts Center, a place Georgiou is no stranger to. DGDG put on a critically praised work at the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre in November 2014 for the Elevator Project, which provided an opportunity for emerging arts groups to perform in Center spaces. D Magazine called her piece, Nice, a “provocative, beautiful, and deeply unsettling multisensory dance show.” Though Georgiou has a significant presence in the Dallas arts world (She is a writer for KERA’s Art and Seek, TheaterJones and the program coordinator for Eastfield College’s dance department,) it was her first time performing at such a venue.
“When I got that e-mail asking me to participate, I thought ‘they’ve got the wrong person,’” but says that being able to “access some of the most beautiful buildings in the world” was a huge boon to her confidence and her career. Georgiou says that though people are often intimidated by the bigger arts organizations, she finds that if you create work and put yourself out there, artists can find access points. “It was incredible,” she says. “Everyone was so helpful and welcoming.”
While experimental dance might be a new term for audiences, Georgiou says that she has received “nothing but positive” feedback from new fans and old. Her pieces aren’t relegated to what she calls the dance “safety net” that can discourage trying new things in novel settings. Instead, her work takes place on-the-ground where people gather, encouraging them to enjoy dance for the emotions and insights it can evoke from each of us. No one has to be a dance critic to enjoy or participate in the art from, an idea that’s becoming increasingly more mainstream thanks to renegades like Georgiou.
Entrance to Aurora is free to the public and will include educational activities for families. If you are interested in elevating your experience, A VIP Experience ticket is available for purchase. It includes all-night access to three exclusive VIP Lounges located throughout Aurora (featuring private bars, food by Wolfgang Puck and themed décor) and admission to a special Aurora afterparty. Tickets for the VIP Experience and afterparty are available at www.attpac.org/auroravip.