Fragility: An Exploration of Polyrhythms

Fragility: An Exploration of Polyrhythms is an immersive performance featuring an ensemble of musicians and dancers. Ibarra conceives Fragility as a kind of ‘game piece’ in which game rules require performers to take turns conducting action, shifting roles and perspectives in live experimentation. The work investigates the fragility of human interdependency, particularly the critical moment where relations shift. Fragility comprises live music and dance, multi-channel surround sound installation, and custom built motion capture software. The ensemble of Fragility: An Exploration of Polyrhythms includes six musicians, two dancers, and two technicians.

Concept and music composition by Susie Ibarra
Choreography by Souleymane Badolo
Sound engineering and sound design by Justin Frye
Interactive programming by Tommy Martinez and Greg Fox

Fragility: An Exploration of Polyrhythms is commissioned by Asia Society’s Creative Common Ground, developed in partnership with the Pioneer Works’ Residency Program, and supported, in part, by a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant. Creative Common Ground is supported in part by a three-year grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Excerpts from work in progress showing of Fragility at Pioneer Works

Footage courtesy of Pioneer Works

Development of Fragility during Susie Ibarra’s artist residency at Pioneer Works
Footage courtesy of Pioneer Works

Susie Ibarra DreamTime Ensemble concert as part of Winter Jazzfest 2018 at Nublu


About the artists:
Susie Ibarra, composer/percussionist, creates live and immersive music that explores rhythm, indigenous practices, and interaction with cities and the natural world. Ibarra is a Yamaha, Paiste and Vic Firth Drum Artist and 2014 TEDSenior Fellow. Ibarra has premiered a new project, DreamTime Ensemble (2017), with a forthcoming new album on Decibel Collective titled Perception, a collection of pieces around the idea of finding unfixed meaning in sensory experiences and interaction in one’s environment. Her latest works include Musical Water Routes in the Medina of Fez, a music and river route mobile app in collaboration with architect Aziza Chaouni for the Sacred Music Festival of Fez (2016), Mirrows and Water, a composition and sonic installation commissioned for Ai Wei Wei’s Circle of Animals/Zodiac Signs at the sculpture trail of the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming (2015); and Digital Sanctuaries (2014), a modular music app walk with music composed by Electric Kulintang that remaps cities with sanctuaries of music and engages with cities’ historical and cultural sites commissioned by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and City of Asylum Pittsburgh. She is a Faculty member at Bennington College where she teaches Performance, Percussion, and at the Center for Advancement of Public Action. Her teaching at the Center focuses on her work in rebuilding cities with the arts, art intervention, and advocacy for human rights extended equally to women and girls. 

Souleymane ‘Solo’ Badolo is a Brooklyn-based choreographer and dancer born in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. He started his professional career as a dancer for the DAMA, a traditional African dance company. Since moving to New York City in 2009, Badolo has created a number of solo and small ensemble projects commissioned and presented by Danspace, New York Live Arts, Dance New Amsterdam, Harlem Stage, the 92nd Street Y, the Museum of Art & Design, River to River Festival (R2R), and BAM. He has collaborated with Nora Chipaumire, Ralph Lemon, Reggie Wilson, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar of Urban Bush Women. Mr. Badolo was nominated for a 2011 Bessie Award (New York Dance & Performance Award) as Outstanding Emerging Choreographer and in 2012, received the Juried Bessie Award (from jurists Lar Lubovitch, Yvonne Rainer and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar). In 2015, his dance for two dancers and one percussionist, Yimbégré, was recognized with a Bessie Award for Outstanding Production. Mr. Badolo is the recipient of Wesleyan University’s 2014 Mariam McGlone Emerging Choreographer Award and the 2015 Harkness Foundation Dance Residency at BAM Fisher. He graduated from Bennington College with an MFA in June 2013. Since that time, he has been a guest instructor at The New School, Bennington College, Williams College, and Bard College.