Vertical dance troupe to explode in Old Fourth Ward this weekend


Nigerian fashion and textile designer IB Bayo has designed fabric stories, costumes and sets.

Photograph courtesy of Bandaloop

In 2019, New City’s Jim Irwin asked Anne Archer Dennington, executive director of Flow projects, who coordinates temporary public art projects throughout the city – if she had any ideas to animate the then unfinished development of her business at 725 Ponce in Old Fourth Ward. Dennington had just the artistic treatment in mind: dancers suspended in mid-air, performing vertically on the building’s edge facing the Eastside BeltLine trail. she had just met Bandaloop, a California dance troupe that combines choreography and climbing technology to reinvent dance in the public realm, and Dennington figured the facade of 725 Ponce would serve as the perfect stage — turned sideways.

His vision is finally coming to fruition. From October 1 to 3, Flux Projects will be presented in preview FIELD, the second installment of LOOM, a national four-part series from Bandaloop. The series juxtaposes traditional fabric creation techniques with the socio-ecological impacts of the global fashion industry, which alone accounts for 20% of industrial water pollution.

“The textile industry is the second polluting industry in the world. With Atlanta, but more specifically the Old Fourth Ward, playing a role in the cotton trade, this event is site specific, ”says Dennington. It refers to O4W’s Fulton Bag and Cotton Mills, now the Fulton Cotton Mill Lofts, which made bags out of fabric and paper. What is now Studioplex was once a cotton warehouse, and the local railroad carried related products.

Transforming the building adjacent to BeltLine into a giant loom, FIELD’s stories – led by Bandaloop’s artistic director, Melecio Estrella, and told by a collective of dancers, textile artists and sustainability strategists – will pit the ecological challenges to the power of the fabric to hold, comforts and adorns the human experience.

“You are drawn to artists because there is an undercurrent. As you work together, weaving what is prevalent in their work with what is specific to the Atlanta site, you start to find those commonalities, and the piece kind of reveals itself, ”Dennington explains to About how the partnership with Bandaloop came together, then deepened and regenerated with the pause imposed by the pandemic. The installation was initially scheduled for 2020, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Flux Projects.

“I firmly believe that artists are connected to the messages and lessons that humanity needs to learn, and they are able to make them visible and communicate them in a way that a much larger audience can start to. to hear and understand at the right time. ,” she says.

“The thing with Bandaloop is that they do it in a way that is just spectacularly beautiful.”

This article appeared in our October 2021 issue.

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