Beginner's Guide to Kidd Pivot Frankfurt RM Feb 10, 2011

by Jessica

Crystal Pite is an OtB alum and audience favorite, but here are some things you may or may not know about her and her company, Kidd Pivot Frankfurt RM.

1. Kidd Pivot is the branchild of Vancouver BC choreographer Crystal Pite. The longtime dancer began choreographing early in her career after receiving commissions from companies such as the Alberta Ballet, Ballett Frankfurt and Nederlands Dans Theater. In 2001 she founded her own company and has continued to make and perform work with them. Read more about her career here.

2. In 2008 Crystal received $75,000 for a new work, which she used to bring together her favorite performers, the best-of-the-best from the companies she had set pieces on. What was at the time a temporary company has now become a solid dream team of dancers that are in residence with Crystal at Frankfurt’s Künstlerhaus Mousonturm. Read more about each performer on Kidd Pivot’s site.

3. Crystal has a history of combining text and dance. In 2007’s Farther Out she used excerpts from Annie Dillard’s book The Writing Life to help illustrate the relationship between an artist and an idea. For Dark Matters she’s turned to Voltaire’s “Poem on the Lisbon Disaster” to serve as the text presiding over the Frankenstein-esque story of the puppet and its master in Act I. 

4. Dark Matters is the first time that the company is using puppetry. The specific style that they employ, bunraku, involves multiple puppeteers clad entirely in black manipulating one puppet. By using this style Crystal is able to heighten the theatrical nature of her work and emphasize the minute articulation the company is capable of performing.

5. The title Dark Matters refers to the astronomical term for the unknown and invisible matter that is the majority of our universe. Together, dark matter and dark energy make up 96% of the universe and are understood to be the force behind its expansion. Although scientists continue to study and debate the composition of dark matter, there is very little that is currently understood. Inspired by the concept, Crystal writes, “dark matter affects the speed, structure and evolution of galaxies, yet its nature remains a mystery.”  Here is a full description of dark matter and dark energy. Read more in this blog post.

6. Crystal is a protégée of choreographer and artistic director of the Ballett Frankfurt, William Forsythe. He’s best known for forging new dance territory by deconstructing the structure and theatrically of ballet technique. His work is currently in rep at ballets all over the world, including Seattle’s own Pacific Northwest Ballet. Read more about William Forsythe or watch a clip from his work “One Flat Thing, reproduced.”