Fringe Festival Blog – Part 1

“Man Bites Dog”

Choreographic Intent

Sensationalism in the media is a direct result of cultural evolution around the globe. All over The United States, technology bombards us with hidden messages through advertising, journalism, and entertainment, striking us with an overbearing sensory overload. What is unbelievable is news. Heroes and villains are created. Stories are embellished. Sex sells. Taboo condones judgmental behavior. All these trends make up the grand scheme of effective media in this country and its impact is indelible.

“Man Bites Dog” is a cultural sensation noted by New York Sun editor, John B. Bogart, in the early nineties in regards to uncanny events being hyped up in news reports to spawn larger audiences. Over the past decade, there have been several movements correlating to this phenomenon. Politics alone have apotheosized this philosophy, which is a trend that dates back as far as history goes with nobility and government officials being ridiculed, ostracized and worshipped in the press. Most recently, superstars have become larger than life, the exploits of their daily lives fodder for bubbly conversation. Mug shots adorn television sets, the internet and front pages of newspapers. Psycho chic has become the newest craze – the affectation of celebrity psychological breakdowns and rehab is now popular in the media as well.

“Man Bites Dog” is a choreographic work that will explore, satirize and even celebrate the ways in which popular culture relies on extraordinary stories to distract itself from the true horrors the world has to offer.

Current events will be examined with a few real news reports referenced for plot content. There will be a recurring theme with a chorus of dancers who will have headlights strapped to their heads to represent photojournalists. There will be an array of other props including (but not limited to) sunglasses, umbrellas, scarves, blindfolds, chairs, and leashes that will be incorporated into the choreography.

My dance composition technique stems from the inspiration of Erick Hawkins, Merce Cunningham, Matt Maddox, Alvin Ailey and Bob Fosse. Fluid, old school Modern Dance will be juxtaposed with contemporary technique, utilizing extensive isolations and lateral movements and stretches. Combined with natural movements and “club style” dancing, the works will be precise, relatable and innovative in their execution, revealing the pith of the story at hand. Elements of the choreography will include dog-like movements and animal motifs to depict the overall theme.

Musical Selections:

Daniel Bernard Roumain
Alternative Classical

Androgynous Mind
Sonic Youth

3 Gymnopédies: Lent Et Douloureux
Erik Satie


Violin Concerto No. 2 in B Minor Op. 7: III. Rondo (‘La campanella’)
Niccolò Paganini

Shame and Fortune
Yeah Yeah Yeahs

The House of Jealous Lovers
The Rapture

People Are Strange
The Doors

Turn Me On
Nina Simone

Instinct Blues
The White Stripes

*Excerpts will be used from most songs.

Technical Requirements:
1. Cast
8 – 10 Featured Dancers (At least 2 Male)
5 – 10 Additional Dancers (as needed/understudy)

2. Crew
Stage Manager
Lighting Director/Operator
2 Stage Grips
Audio/Visual Director/Operator
Hair/Wardrobe Assistant

3. Stage Settings
3 Wood Boxes (3’H x 3’W x 3’D)
3 Wood Panels (Rolling Flats with Mylar Backing)
3 Specials (Lighting) set up for CS, DSR and DSL
1 Strobe Light
1 Fog Machine (optional)

4. Props List
3 Dog Cone Collars
1 Dog Collar
1 Dog Leash
3 Gas Masks
8 Pair Sunglasses
5 Blindfolds
3 News Papers
5 Sets Head Lights
3 Umbrellas
3 Chairs


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