The innovative performance group gloATL, led by choreographer Lauri Stallings, has announced that it has exceeded the $50,000 fund-raising goal set in November by a challenge grant from the Possible Futures foundation.
Stallings said the money will be used to strengthen the organization’s infrastructure, enabling it to branch further into the Atlanta community and beyond. GloATL recently hired its first administrator, Paul Boshears, and will begin to provide its five core dancers with health care coverage, Stallings said. These stabilizing measures come with the announcement of a new series of performances and new artistic and educational partnerships.
Boshears, a former program development associate at Atlanta-based Art Papers magazine, will manage daily operations and lead the company’s development efforts. Atlanta philanthropist David York, founder of Barking Hound Village, will support the move to provide comprehensive health benefits, aided by arts support organization C4 Atlanta.
General Manager Rick Carvlin explained that gloATL’s goal is to sustain its dancers’ work year-round and build a support structure commensurate with their artistic achievements.
The troupe’s first performance was “rapt,” in 2009 on the Woodruff Arts Center’s Sifly Piazza. It has since staged a number of free, site-specific performances in the city’s public spaces that blur the boundary between performers and audience, inviting the public to become part of the performance itself. As many as 60,000 people have experienced these shows, according to a gloATL press release, including last month’s remarkable performance at Old Fourth Ward Skate Park.
From July 6 to 12, gloATL will perform its second annual “Liquid Culture” series, joined by selected students from its summer intensive workshop. Five site-specific performances will take place in the same four public spaces where the troupe appeared last July: the intersection of 15th and Peachtree streets, near the Woodruff Arts Center; a MARTA station; the Little Five Points shopping district; and Sol LeWitt’s “54 Columns,” on Highland Avenue at Glen Iris Drive. But the spaces will be used differently and in a different order. The contemporary music ensemble Sonic Generator will perform at some of the shows, and the final shows will occur at “54 Columns” on two consecutive evenings and will include singers from the Atlanta Opera.
In July, gloATL and the Goat Farm Arts Center will announce the inaugural 2012-13 “Tanz Farm” performance series, aimed at establishing a center for contemporary dance that brings local, national and international choreographers and dance companies to create, teach and perform in gloATL’s space in the Goat Farm’s Goodson Yard. And in the fall, gloATL will create a new dance piece during a week-long residency in Roswell, culminating in an evening of gloATL works at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center.
Educational partnerships, in addition to gloATL’s current ties with Kennesaw State University, have been formed with North Springs High School and Brenau University, where Stallings will incorporate her movement language into each program’s curriculum, assisted by company members Nicole Johnson and Kristina Brown.
York said he is inspired by gloATL’s presence in Atlanta. “Lauri Stalling’s creativity, along with the talented artists she’s assembled, continues to push the envelope to new artistic challenges,” the philanthropist said. “I believe gloATL will bring international attention to the progressing art world of Atlanta. [It is] the most innovative art concept of our city.”
January’s “Off the EDGE” series of performances brought internationally known choreographers to Atlanta, including Lar Lubovitch, who received the prestigious 2012 Prix Benois de la Danse in Moscow last week, and former Batsheva dancers Barak Marshall and Andrea Miller.
Stallings is also gaining international notice for her work. Last summer, she was one of four choreographers invited to attend a workshop taught by Wayne McGregor, a prominent figure in British dance. And this fall, she’ll create a work during a four-week residency at London’s Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. In addition, gloATL recently entered into partnerships with the French and Israeli Consulates, though particulars have not yet been released.
Stallings maintains a broad, global viewpoint. “What’s left of a city at the end of a day is its cultural identity, which constitutes how it views itself and its relationship with the rest of the world,” she said. “Cultural identity is internalized, experimented with and shaped by artists, an unending, lifelong process. Glo’s vision is no less than this.”
(Disclosure: Possible Futures founder Louis Corrigan is the chairman of ArtsATL’s board of directors.)