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Riley Watts, Veil (Lesslessness)

Friday, December 14 2018
6:00 PM

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.

Marc Bartissol, a sound designer from Montreal, has been invited to perform with Riley on December 14.

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.  


Marc Bartissol

Born in Provence in the early nineties, dull moved to Montreal in 2009 to study Film Production. His interest for the endless wirings between sound and image pushed him to build on his childhood musical practice by investigating jazz piano and sound-design alongside his cinema studies. Today, his focus is mainly musical as he navigates between scoring, live performance, and djing. His style blends sensual, dusty, vivid yet unfamiliar acoustics and has led to presentations in a variety of contexts ranging from contemporary dance showings and movie screenings to music festival line-ups in France, the UK, Sweden, Canada, the USA, Panama, and Mexico. 

🕯️ The dance show of the summer is Scapegoat Garden’s Liturgy|Order|Bridge. The Hartford-based company calls upon Black church traditions and ideas of faith, nature, fashion, and experimentation in their limited performance run June 20-22. Tickets available now, presented by SPACE at Mechanics’ Hall. 🕯️