Madame Ovary is a contemporary exploration of the body as a site of intuition, agency, and identity with choreography by Jody Oberfelder, music composed by Missy Mazzoli (funded by New Music USA), and lighting by Kathy Kaufmann. Oberfelder boldly weaves together small stories, broad contexts, and big dancing. With empathy, humor, embroidered breast plates, and badass rocker panache, Oberfelder addresses an ever-evolving terrain of womanhood.
On the Move Shortly
On the Move Shortly is a short piece of interactive dance devised for the passengers of St. Pancras Station. It allows travellers to pause in between departure and arrival, reflect upon stillness and movement, and feel their own presence in the midst of motion. It is a private and personal experience in a public space; a respite from the flurry of activity of life, and an invitation to contemplate the present moment in the midst of our various journeys.
Things, a collaboration between NYC based performance group Jody Oberfelder Projects with Brisbane based music group Topology, is an interactive performance piece offering audience members a chance to reflect on tangible artifacts and the materiality of life. Performed in Brisbane, Australia.
Site specific work inside a seventeenth-century baroque palace in Braga, Portgual! Salvo Conduto is a site-specific creation in unconventional spaces in the city of Braga, produced by Arte Total since 1997. During the creative process the audience is inadvertently in the dance that resides temporarily in this space.
Audience of One
This performance of "Audience of One" was originally to be a private performance for one audience member at a time by one dancer on one of three decks with red Adirondack Chairs. Tall reeds were to have kept the performance private. (The reeds were given a haircut just before our show). Instead of a "the doctor is in" durational performance, the structure for the INsitu Festival shepherded the audience from site to site, with 42 performance in one day! I adapted the performance on the spot; somehow adapting the role of gatekeeper to MC for a huge crowd for 15 minutes, three times a day. Still, I think the piece worked as a prototype.
The Brain Piece
The Brain Piece, directed, written and choreographed by Jody Oberfelder, is about the "dance" that continuously takes place in each of our heads. The dance, music, film and text create overlapping perceptual domains, enlivening the inner life of the brain. Oberfelder wants the audience to experience dance as a language that goes directly into the brain, like smell. Jody Oberfelder‘s collaborators include three dancers (Mary Madsen, Pierre Guilbault, and Hannah Wendel, in addition to Jody performing the role of the “head docent”), film co-director Eric Siegel, neuroscientist, Dr. Weiji Ma, composers Daniel Wohl, Sean Hagerty (New Music USA Grant recipient) and Angelica Negron. Our dramaturg is Jessica Applebaum, lighting designer is Kate Bashore, and our stage manager is Katie Houff. The Brain Piece can be performed as an installation work or in a theater/ on proscenium stage. The company recently received a CEC Artslink Grant for touring.
Street Greet (2014)
Street Greet begins as an interview with pedestrians and becomes a surprise encounter.
Sketch #1 (2014)
Sketch #1, a lovely, eccentric duet by the supernaturally agile and emotive Ben Follensbee and Jody Oberfelder (the latter of whom also choreographed). The pair soared and mugged as if in some callisthenic Waiting for Godot”. - Adam McGovern, The Rumpus.net
4Chambers is an immersive blend of dance, theater, film and visual installation. There are only 12 audience members at a time. It is a piece to be experienced and therefore we ruled out having cameras during performances. These four minutes, shot during previews with permission of audience members, show samples from several of the chambers from our performances, which ran Jan. 22-March 22 at Arts@Renaissance in Brooklyn, NY
Throb is a conceptual and physically demanding work inspired by the biological workings of the heart. Oberfelder cultivates the heart for metaphorical meanings, associations, and physiological information.
Sung Heroes (2012)
Sung Heroes is a quartet which places each dancer in a cinematic lens, working through his or her own -- and others' -- emotional narratives to connect to the superhero within.
RE:DRESS is a solo work that explores female iconic imageries and comic energies.
The Soldier's Tale (2011)
Vaudevillian spectacle and drama are served up through vibrant physicality in this danced-through production, with Jody Oberfelder Dance Projects and Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra. In presenting a fresh version of The Soldier’s Tale, choreographer/director Jody Oberfelder places this post-World War I story—originally a Russian folktale—in a modern world. The dramatic trajectory of the tale is conveyed through acrobatic physicality of the characters and the distinct storytelling of the narrator. Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale was performed on June 9-11, 2011 7:30pm at Pace University's Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, with live music by Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra.Jody's adaptation of the C.F. Ramuz text has been approved by Schirmer Publishing. This updated script and production is available for touring.
Dido & Aeneas (2008)
In this updated interpretation, Dido and Aeneas are a modern celebrity couple torn apart by the media machine. In a parallel visual narrative, tabloids expose and contribute to the buildup and dissolution of their relationship. Featuring eight dancers, chamber orchestra, six vocal soloists and chorus, Oberfelder's contemporary piece examines, through the prism of fame, universal themes of love and fate. Commissioned by the Orchestra of St. Luke's, this piece premiered at LaGuardia High School for Music, Arts, and the Performing Arts.
Heads or Tales (2010)
20th Anniversary Season
An eccentric retrospective celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Jody Oberfelder Dance Projects. Careening from the epic to the mundane, re-visted dances include excerpts from Oberfelder's Head First, A crash helmet dance and the tender Rock Me Mama danced by new mothers and their babies, along with original cast members and their now-teenage children. Also featured are the hilarious and perky X-Cheerleaders, the fantastical The Story Thus Far (based on Grimm Fairy Tales), clips from Dido & Aeneas and much more.
Rock Me Mama (2010)
A dance for mothers/fathers and their offspring. Original 1996 performing as teens, followed by new moms and their babies.
Excerpt of Rock Me Mama lyrics by Tine Kindermann and Jody Oberfelder:
Who are you, Who will you be
And who am I, Now that we're we
Cling with your heart, Fall onto my skin
Soften against me, I let you in
Approaching Climax (2009)
Approaching Climax teases the extraordinary of of ordinary encounters. By exploring the emotional intricacies of mundane, physical engagements, Oberfelder questions the nature of narrative and the mysteries of social arousal. Media design by Design Brooklyn. Costumes by Liz Prince.
Moved is set to pop songs by Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields, mines the emotion of love with all its flip-sided facets. Premiered in 2003 at Clark Studio, this video was taken at Joyce Soho in 2009.
Heavy / Light (2007)
Heavy Light addresses life's tragic/comic dichotomy in movement metaphors of lightness and heaviness. This work is inspired by Horace Walpole's quote, "Life is a comedy for those who think, and a tragedy for those who feel."
The Title Comes Last (2007)
In The Title Comes Last, the performers travel from a bland work-a-day world into a land of vibrancy, making sensuous connections along the way. Through their quirky quest, which references the senses, the dancers transform from the inside out.
LineAge is a suite of short dances, rendered in audaciously physical and verbal wit, that plays with concepts of lines, age, and evolution, from tabula rasa to wrinkles.
The Story Thus Far (2002)
The Story Thus Far is a work inspired by stories of the Brother’s Grimm.
Tangram, modeled on puzzle pieces, is a dance that investigates abstract relationships.