The Art Crush Ensemble is a multidisciplinary collaboration created in 2013, combining visual arts, instrumental music and dance on stage together. Since then, the always-evolving group has performed in concert halls, community centres, Musée Grévin, the Griffintown Art Centre and Montreal galleries.
Art Crush is an invitation to experience a repertoire of music through the prism of various art forms. The concert can be described as an on-stage visual ‘transmission’ of mood and emotions from one artistic discipline to another and back again, forming a chain reaction or cycle of inspiration.
In June 2016 Art Crush travelled to the Maritimes for performances and filming. The ensemble collaborated with local Fredericton and Maritime musicians and artists to interpret works by Canadian composers.
Artist Statement by Avery Zhao, founder
Interdisciplinarity and performance are intriguing characteristics of current art practices and research. Since 2013 I have been steadily developing a concept of time-based live painting and its narrative capabilities in performance, in unison with music and dance.
Take a still surface, such as water in a pond; if playing music is compared to the circular ripple created by a pebble dropped into a pond, and performed dance was another such ripple beside it, the role of my painting would be equal to that of the pond. It’s surface echoes their stories, and dimensions, and what is painted will provide a third narrative.
The conceptual framework of my artistic practice is to approach time-based and live painting (or mark-making) as deep-research or echo-research sessions, which provide a visual dimension to the viewer for the piece of music and dance being performed.
Live painting has long existed as a form of visual performance art. However it is often contrasted with more studied fine art compositions which belong to the serious artist’s studio. My practice seeks to challenge that through its process, intent, research and performance.
— A propos
Art Crush est un concert autour duquel se fusionne des éléments visuels dynamiques qui transforment l’expérience musicale en performance multidisciplinaire. Art Crush propose sur scène une véritable ‘crushing’ ensemble des disciplines de la musique classique, de la danse et des art visuels qui saura captiver un auditoire de tout âge.
Cet ensemble invite le public à apprécier non seulement un concert classique ou contemporain de haut niveau, mais aussi deux autres disciplines classiques par la même occasion. Pour chaque pièce musicale les danseurs présente une chorégraphie inspirée par l’atmosphère qui se dégage de la musique et les artistes visuels se mettent en mode création afin de produire une œuvre par pièce musicale.
Art Crush peut donc se résumer comme une réaction en chaine de performances artistiques: des musiciens aux danseurs et des danseurs aux artistes.
What is Art Crush?
Art Crush is multidisciplinary concert that unites different art forms and styles. This cast unites a small instrumental ensemble with dancers and visual artists. It is a ‘crushing together’ of three disciplines on one stage, usually in a classical chamber music setting.
The dancers’ choreography reflect the core principles and mood of the music. The visual artists depict the dancers and musicians through a variety of techniques and mediums such as bas-relief sculpture, painting, illustration, digital painting with projection.
The experience is to observe this on-stage visual ‘transmission’ of mood and emotions from one artistic discipline to another and back again, forming a cycle of inspiration. This cycle is initiated by the music that initiates and sustains, to the dancers who live it through their bodies and rhythm, and finally to the artists who render them through filters of emotion and colour.