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Go See This Before It’s Gone: gloATL at the Contemporary

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Lauri Stallings, Search Engine , 2015, dance, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.
Lauri Stallings and gloATL, Search Engine, 2015, at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.

I adore gloATL and the work Lauri Stallings is doing in our dance community. For years, I’ve enjoyed watching her transform MARTA stations, abandoned public pools, unpopular public art, street corners, and Stepford-like communities through her unique style of dance. This week you can see Lauri and her ragamuffin dancers transform the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center into a 24/7 dance studio, yoga gym, smoothie parlor, and community space. They’ve even installed a “secret garden” at the Contemporary for the week of performances, and it will continue to grow after they have moved on to another space. Like every other event by gloATL, it sounds incredibly weird, but trust me that you need to go see this while you can. This is one of those “Don’t ask any questions, just go” kind of experiences. It’s all free and open to the public.

Lauri Stallings, Search Engine , 2015, dance, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.
Lauri Stallings and gloATL, Search Engine, 2015, at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.

There isn’t dance around the clock, but gloATL has scheduled happenings at all hours of the day through Saturday. I went on Tuesday afternoon and found the dancers in between “movement systems;” Stallings was vacuuming the grass (really) in preparation for the next performance. Dance performances happen in the late afternoon and evenings. In between they’ve scheduled other ritualistic events such as grass trimming meditation, blindfolded yoga, and even coloring. Consult with the gloATL Facebook page for the daily activities. Definitely try to catch one of the dance performances. Even though the schedule may say the performance ends at 11pm, they will dance late into the night as long as there are visitors coming by.

The work gloATL performs looks less like dance and more like performance art. Stallings hits on many popular themes in contemporary art—consistent themes in her work include the ritual of creation, transformation of space, and engagement of the viewing public. Don’t go to gloATL and expect to see choreography set to music for a short period of time. The dancers often move at a languid, primordial pace; this is broken up with (seemingly) improvised quick scenes of prancing, stomping, and a bit of acrobatics. Very often the viewers will get roped into a scene, and as long as a dancer is holding your hand, you’re definitely part of the performance (NOTE: Wear tennis shoes that can get dirty). There seems to be no beginning, end, or objective to much of what you’ll see, but it can become quite mesmerizing to watch. There is a spiritual, almost magical, quality to the dance; you begin to wonder what kind of telepathy these dancers possess that lets them move as one undulating, beautiful mass of bodies.

Lauri Stallings, Search Engine , 2015, dance, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.
Lauri Stallings, Search Engine , 2015, dance, gloATL at Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.

Usually gloATL performs in very large spaces with huge crowds of people watching. “Search Engine” is a chance to experience their work on a more intimate, personal scale than ever before. The dancers engage with each person who comes to the Contemporary to view the performances, which is something very few dance groups are able to pull off. Stallings and her crew are definitely making dance more relevant by taking it out of the formal stage setting and discovering new places and ways to speak to audiences through movement.

Secret Garden

Enter through the black metal gates in the back of the building.
Through December 12  and free and open to the public.

Support Burnaway

Performance schedule:

Sunday October 11
7pm Activation begins
8:45pm King of Pops
All night Candlelighting
Sleepover.

Monday October 12
7:40am Sunrise daily bathing; 8am grass trimming Meditation
8:30-10:30am Coleman family Christmas letters
10:45am smoothie making11am glo movement SHOP
12-2pm glo Activation: choreographic cycles + systems
2-430pm Ashley Bohanon Thai Bodywork & Yoga
4-5pm glo activation: choreographic cycles + systems
5-7pm Kennesaw State University French club/ Photo Novela
7-11pm glo Activation: choreographic cycles + systems; Sleepover.

Tuesday October 13
7:41am Sunrise daily bathing
8am grass trimming Meditation
10am-2pm Ashley Bohanon Thai Bodywork & Yoga
10:45am smoothie making; 11am glo movement SHOP
12-2pm glo Activation: choreographic cycles + systems
3pm LadyFest weekly session
4-5pm glo Activation: choreographic cycles + systems
7-11pm glo Activation: choreographic cycles + systems
8pm Yoga on the Move/ blindfolded yoga
11pm-3am Atlanta Astronomy Club
11pm-3am Acoustic Improv Eyedrum
Sleepover.

Wednesday October 14
7:42 am Sunrise daily bathing
8 am grass trimming Meditation
10:45am smoothie making
11am glo movement SHOP
12-2pm glo Activation/ choreographic cycles + systems
12-3pm FARMING
12-3pm Little Feasties carry-out; 1pm Coloring with Tonja
1pm Coloring with Tonya
4-5pm glo Activation: choreographic cycles + systems
7-9 pm discussion party with Eyedrum
7pm dance SHOP with ChopArt + My Sister’s House
7pm- 7am All-night glo Activation: choreographic cycles + systems.

Thursday October 15
7:43 am sunrise daily bathing
8am grass trimming Meditation
11am glo movement SHOP
12-2pm glo Activation: choreographic cycles + systems
4-5pm glo Activation/ choreographic cycles + systems
7:30-10:30pm Eyedrum Writer’s Exchange
8-10pm BOATING sound mixing
7-11pm glo Activation: choreographic cycles + systems
All night candle lighting
Sleepover.

Friday October 16
7:44 am sunrise daily bathing
8am grass trimming Meditation
11am glo movement SHOP
12-2pm glo Activation: choreographic cycles + systems
2-4pm Storytelling with Carlos Thompson
4-5pm glo Activation: choreographic cycles + systems
5pm Yoga on the Move/ blindfolded yoga
6-8pm Lost and Found Youth dinner
7-11pm glo Activation: choreographic cycles + systems
9-11pm LadyFest film screening
All night candlelighting
Sleepover.

Saturday October 17
7:45 am sunrise daily bathing
8am Maryjane grass trimming meditation
10am Ashley Bohanon Thai Bodywork & Yoga
10:45 am smoothie making; 11am glo movement SHOP
12-2pm glo Activation/ choreographic cycles + systems
12-3pm FARMING & Little Feasties carry-out
4-5pm glo Activation: choreographic cycles + systems
7-11pm glo activation: Choreographic cycles + systems
1am SEARCH ENGINE activation off.