Riley Watts, VEIL (Lesslessness)


Riley Watts, VEIL (Lesslessness)

SPACE is pleased to present VEIL (Lesslessness) by Riley Watts.

In December 2018, Riley Watts will spend two weeks in residence at SPACE. As a part of this residency he will perform on Friday, December 7 and Friday, December 14. 

Veil (Lesslessness) is an ongoing choreographic project by Riley Watts exploring the meditative capabilities of installation, physical improvisation, sculpture, digital media, and spatial design.  Previous Veil iterations have been performed at the Bates Dance Festival, Boston Center for the Arts, Maine Moves, Prometheus Dance Company, and Doppelganger Dance Collective.  Each Veil builds out of its previous performance, keeping a specific amount of experiential and performative language constant but allowing for a great breadth of improvisation and possibility.

This iteration will feature Watts arranging and reacting to objects transplanted from his thinking space in Portland into the main gallery space. Included with these personal object are metal sculptures created during previous Veil performances as well as sonic material developed in collaboration with sound designer from Montreal, dull.  

This residency at SPACE provides more than the opportunity to develop creative work by also functioning as a community meeting point. During his time, Watts will be facilitating conversations with collaborators, artists, and partners across the region. The newly founded  Portland Dance Month will also take part in the gallery's function during this residency.

As a part of this event, Riley has invited Asher Woodworth to come into the space, December 7, to engage in a “contemplative dance practice” as a performance.

In this open showing, the dancers will bring their practices together for the first time and cycle through periods of solo improvisation and meditation.

Riley Watts is an international dance artist, arts advisor, choreographer, and teacher in Portland, Maine. Before returning to Maine in 2016, Riley spent nearly a decade as a contemporary dancer in Europe, working with The Forsythe Company (Frankfurt, Germany), Sylvie Guillem, Netherlands Dance Theater 2, and Bern Ballet (Switzerland).  His iterative choreographic work focuses on the interaction of environment, object, dance, and psychology as an inquiry into embodied consciousness through movement, and has been seen both domestically and abroad. As an active member of the arts ecology in Maine, Riley founded Portland Dance Month in the fall of 2018, has served on the Advisory Committee and as Artist-in-Residence at Bates Dance Festival, is on the Board of Directors for Bangor Ballet, and is a Performance Advisor for SPACE, where he helps program dance films and the Moving Body in SPACE performance series.  


Riley received his dance training at Bangor Ballet, Walnut Hill School for the Arts, and The Juilliard School, where he received his BFA in 2007.  He was the 2006 Juilliard recipient of a Princess Grace Award and was named one of the 2015 Positano Prize Contemporary Dancers of the Year for William Forsythe’s DUO2015.  He can be seen dancing in theaters worldwide in William Forsythe’s A Quiet Evening of Dance and in Forsythe’s video work Alignigung as part of the Choreographic Objects exhibit at the ICA Boston.


Asher Woodworth is a multidisciplinary artist based in Maine. Asher’s background is in performance, postmodern dance, and video. He works primarily with bodies and concepts, but also objects, plants, and heat. Recently Asher has worked with Dean Moss, Deborah Hay, and Hana van Der Kolk. He has shown his work at Movement Research, Danspace Project, SPACE Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, and has led workshops and performed nationally and internationally at such venues as MoMA, The Walker Art Center, Diverseworks, BRIC, Kelly Strayhorn Theater, The Electric Lodge, CATI Dans, Body Actualized Center, and Uferstudios Berlin. He is the recipient of a 2015 Touring Grant from New England Foundation for the Arts. Asher holds a BA in Dance and Philosophy from Bennington College.


December 7, 2018
6:00 PM

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