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Troika Ranch in residence at Marshall University as part of the Birke Fine Arts Festival
Troika Ranch is the artistic platform for the collaborative works of its founders, choreographer Dawn Stoppiello and composer/media artist Mark Coniglio. Troika Ranch creates contemporary, hybrid artworks through an ongoing examination of the moving body and its relationship to technology, making them a perfect fit for the 2014 Birke Fine Arts Festival entitled Trending Now: Artists and Audiences in the Information Age.
Festival committee chair Nicole Perrone said that the committee was pleased to be able to include Troika Ranch in the festival, as their work explores the festival's central themes. "We are interested in a dialogue about how the arts are responding to an audience that has grown accustomed to pop-ups, tweets and status updates; not only how we experience the arts, but where we experience them."
The latest piece, SWARM, will be an immersive, multi-media installation/performance in which the movements of the audience - not as individuals, but as a community - allow them to collaboratively compose the sonic score, visual materials, theatrical lighting, and the actions of the performers themselves. The crux of SWARM is that only through coordination, conversation, and collective action can the audience - the "swarm" - reveal the fullest and most complete dramatic arc of the piece. Stoppiello and Coniglio are spending this week prior to the performance in residence at Marshall University rehearsing with theatre and dance students and faculty, who will also perform in the piece.
"The Birke Fine Arts Festival enables us to bring world-renowned artists and a contemporary, cutting-edge performance experiences to our students," Perrone said. "It will be unlike anything they've ever seen; and, we hope, for the audience, too."