Now in its fifth year, Crossing the Line, the French Institute’s “transdisciplinary festival of contemporary arts and culture,” opens Saturday with free site-specific works at 972 Fifth Ave., headquarters of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.
Taking a central role in the four-hour event is choreographer Kimberly Bartosik, a veteran of nine years with Merce Cunningham’s company. In addition, her “I like penises: a little something in 24 acts” will be performed Sept. 22-24 at the Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church.
“I started thinking about how you become attached to things, about the act of giving, how certain objects pop out of your life and you carry them around with you. What do we like?” she wonders. “I wanted to create a title that would make you really think about that.”
Long interested in collaborating with visual artists, Bartosik recruited Jonathan Allen, who will build a set out of cheap objects purchased by the dancers at 99-cent stores. “It’s really exciting: Allen’s movement, how he is, how he moves with his materials,” Bartosik says. “I was looking at how things acquire value, the act of accumulation.”
She’s been thinking about the value of dance, the value of art, and how they’re valued differently. “I watched two seasons of ‘So You Think You Can Dance.’ How did this show become so popular? Who are these people dancing? We spend much more time listening to the judges and watching them emote than we do watching the dancing!”
Bartosik’s “Ecsteriority3” is part of Saturday’s festival launch, which starts at 2 p.m. and includes new works by several other artists, talks, and walks on Museum Mile and in Central Park.