In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Drawing Clarification
  • Walter Dundervill (bio)

I use drawing as a way of mapping the spatial structures of a dance and visualizing initial images and ideas. I draw figures in motion. I sketch costumes, props, and sets. I create diagrams of stage configurations and have even utilized drawing as an action in my performances. Fundamentally, however, drawing serves as a site for experimentation and process. It is where I grapple in purely visual form with the underlying concepts of my work. I devise intricate systems to create drawings of overlapping forms and lines, attempting to follow my own arbitrary rules as strictly as possible. This results in densely layered transparencies similar to the overlaying of image, sound, and identity in my performance work. The act of drawing provides momentary liberation from the need to justify, analyze, or explain the messy contradictions that often arise during the creative process. Drawing is focused and clarifying. It helps me bridge the gap between image and language and between form and social content. [End Page 34]


Color Parade, 2014, an eight-hour performance installation presented by R.O.V.E. in a storefront window of the Roger Smith Hotel, NYC. I papered the walls of the window display with layers of contact paper. Over the course of the performance, I made drawings on the walls in duct tape and felt pen, including portraits of the performers in their costumes. The dancers and I gradually peeled away layers of contact paper creating new forms and surfaces for further drawing and manipulation of the materials until the entire installation was dismantled into a pile of debris.

Click for larger view
View full resolution

Dancer: Ben Asriel.

Photo: Walter Dundervill. Courtesy the artist.

Click for larger view
View full resolution

Portrait of dancer Jennifer Kjos, contact paper, felt pen.

Photo: Walter Dundervill. Courtesy the artist.

[End Page 35]


These drawings are part of an ongoing practice related to how I construct performances, particularly my interest in the layering of information, form, and imagery. I translated the system of these pen drawings into drawings of fabric and ribbon that I execute during ARENA. In ARENA, the performers interact with the ribbon drawing, disrupting its geometry and creating new forms and color arrangements.

Click for larger view
View full resolution

Untitled Line Drawing 2, felt pen on paper, 2016.

Photo: Walter Dundervill. Courtesy the artist.

[End Page 36]

Click for larger view
View full resolution

Ribbon Drawing, 2014.

Photo: Walter Dundervill. Courtesy the artist.

Click for larger view
View full resolution

Performance at MoMA PS1, 2016. Photo: Maria Baranova.

[End Page 37]

Walter Dundervill

WALTER DUNDERVILL is a choreographer, dancer, and visual artist based in New York City. He creates performance environments fusing dance, visual art, costume, and sound design. His work has been presented at Dance Theater Workshop, New York Live Arts, MoMA PS1, The New Museum, Danspace Project, Participant Inc., JACK, and at the Solo in Azione Festival in Milan, Italy. A recipient of Bessie Awards as a performer and designer, Dundervill has performed for various artists, including DD Dorvillier/Future Human Dance Corps, Keely Garfield, RoseAnne Spradlin, Bruce Nauman, Lovett/Codagnone, Luther Price, and David Wojnarowicz.



Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 34-37
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.