Openwork is a new performance piece that challenges the distinction between craft and art by magnifying the activity of knitting into a dance. An elaborate landscape is formed by dancers who use their limbs as knitting needles to create floor-to-ceiling textiles.
This project reimagines knitting and crochet as kinetic art forms that create concrete traces of the body's motion, exploring how movement and needlecraft can influence each other.
At its heart, Openwork takes a political stance, advancing the cultural context of needlecraft and feminism by refusing to let go of crafting traditions, or to relegating them to a realm lower than “art.”
This evening-length work is an immersive performance for a small audience, who can opt to become part of the environment.
Directed by Chicago-based choreographer, theatrical designer, and needleworker Rachel Damon, Openwork reveals a resonance between the handmade and the embodied by way of the tactile nature of both arts. This performance has been collaboratively developed with Katie Matteson Campana, Megan Rhyme, Gretchen Soechting, and Laura Tennal. It will feature an original musical score composed by pianist Matthew Griffo and featuring cellist Leyla Royale.