From the Vaults (1983)

This is an excerpt of a quartet that got a lot of play in the halcyon days of Marta Renzi & The Project Co. Called Cantata, and originally incorporated into For the Love of the Working (1981), this version is danced by yours truly with Peter Stathas on the Inside/Out stage of the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in what was probably the inaugural year of the now venerable I/O series: 1983.

I love how young I was, and how earnest. I also love how intimately and comfortably the audience - particularly the women - seem to engage in what they're seeing. "Human sexuality" in the Berkshires indeed. 

Let me know if you actually make it to this page, and spend some time watching this ancient but still valuable, history. I'd be honored to know that these obscure archives occasionally reach a viewer.

From the Vaults - (2006)

February 2019
This winter I've been archiving and digitizing all my old VHS tapes so they now fit on the head of a pin. Created more than a decade ago, Not About Paris Hilton was a piece made in 2006 for students and community members at Williams College. I pilfered old dances of mine - That Night, hungrymouth, Femme - and made some new stuff as well. My mission was also to "curate" some student dances within the structure of the full-length work.

I'm afraid I don't remember most of their names. What I do remember is those wonderful costumes ... and what fun it was to be back in Williamstown, riding my bike to rehearsal through streets I'd grown up in.  I also remember Kim Liu and Caitlin Roben from Paris who joined me to shoot Thaw at the Dragon's Egg later that winter. That marked the beginning of my transition to filmmaking, and to creating this blog rather than mailing a newsletter...


Marta Renzi has made more than 50 dances for her Project Company, as well as creating work for groups across the U.S. and abroad, including the Wagon Train Project in Nebraska, Balletteatro in Portugal - and Ben & Jerry's dancing ice cream flavors.

Her site-specific pieces in locations such as the Guggenheim Museum, Union Station and the Staten Island Ferry, led naturally to her work in video and film. In 1981 YOU LITTLE WILD HEART, to music by Bruce Springsteen, was Marta's first half-hour for television, followed by MOUNTAINVIEW, made in 1989 in collaboration with independent filmmaker John Sayles. Since 2005 she has self-produced over 25 short videodances, which have shown at film festivals nationally and internationally, releasing her debut feature film HER MAGNUM OPUS in 2017. In 2020 she directed and edited two short films with Island Moving Company of Newport, RI; OUT OF RUIN and THROUGH HER EYES: A NEWPORT NUTCRACKER REIMAGINED to be broadcast on RI PBS in 2020/21.

As part of a continuing commitment to making dance accessible to a wide audience, Renzi helped inaugurate the "Inside/Out" program of public performances at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, and her Project Company makes frequent appearances for free outdoors in public spaces.

In 1992, Marta received a New York Dance & Performance Award (a "Bessie") for her dance VITAL SIGNS, and in 1995 was the first recipient of a Dancing in the Streets award as "a fearless explorer of all manner of unconventional sites, integrating art into everyday life." She was a 2013 Bogliasco fellow at the Liguria Study Center for Arts & Humanities and received a 2015 CSA grant from Rivertown Artists Workshop.

Marta has served on the Board of Advisors for the New York Foundation for the Arts and was a consultant for the New England Foundation for the Arts' program "Building Community Through Culture." In 2008 she joined the Board of Directors of Dance Films Association, a 50-year-old member-supported institution based in New York City.

Renzi has taught in Chile and Paraguay through the International Linkages program of the American Dance Festival and and is a seven-time recipient of Choreographic Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her work has been funded by the Jerome Foundation, Metropolitan Life, Con Edison and the Trust for Mutual Understanding. In 2007 she received an SOS grant
from the New York State Council on the Arts to participate in a workshop entitled Dance for the Camera. In August of 2008, Renzi presented a new quartet as part of "Through a Choreographer's Eyes", curated by Martha Myers at The Yard in Massachusetts, and returned for several years subsequently since to present new work.

In pre-history, Marta performed with Douglas Dunn & Dancers, in David Gordon's PickUp Company, with Kei Takei's Moving Earth and with Twyla Tharp on the film of HAIR. In theater she has collaborated with William Finn on IN TROUSERS, Andre Gregory in THE PRIMAVERA STRING QUARTET TONIGHT! and with Cecil MacKinnon on Shakespeare's ROMEO AND JULIET performed with the Prokofiev score played live by the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra.

From the Vaults - (2004)

December 2009
Does anybody ever look at these Archives? I almost hope not, since the last two have been practically improvised. On the other hand, it's fun to look back at the era when I was returning to choreography, but beginning to be more interested in locations and stories than in the movement itself.

This one is from Pro Danza Italia 2004, in Castiglioncello, where I made several quickie site-specific dances, stealing a dancer or two between their classes, rehearsals and trips to the beach. This one was inspired by Nino Rota music - and the tiny little Tuscan building which houses the water pump for the nearby Cafe Limonaia. Lights and music were catch as catch could. Camera by Adolfas Mekas.

And if you're inspired to view more old work, scroll down on this "About Marta Renzi" page and you'll go as far back as 1986, with about one mini-show every 6 months, out of chronological order. So much for "Archive of the Month!"

Archive of the Month (1994)

August 2009
Hang on to your hats for this archive; it's a rocky camera ride.  Presenting NOVY CIRKUS, a piece made in 1994 with a group of Slovak dancers and two Americans - much of it improvised -  in an excerpt performed on tour outside the Hall of Justice in Presov, Slovakia.  

Part of the accompaniment is a Slovak/American language tape (how DO they think up these useful expressions?) Now that I'm a "filmmaker" (still those inverted commas), I see how cool it would have been to have the time to more-than-record this...maybe a remake for the camera?

Archive of the Month (1998)

May 2009
Did you find your way here from Home?  If so, welcome to "About Marta Renzi", the back pages.  This is where I'll post Archives from now on, as distinguished from New Stuff.  

This one is hungrymouth (click here for Youtube screen) .  It was choreographed in 1996, and in this version is danced by me, Erica Eigenberg, Marta Miller and Deborah Tacon at a 1998 concert at St. Mark's Danspace.

This Archive is related to New Stuff, actually, because as I post this, we're cannibalizing movement from it for the new Fruitlands dance.  What goes around...continues to go around.

Feel free to wander around these back pages. You'll see some older posts, a Filmography with links to the videodances, and biographical information.  All that's missing is baby pictures!

Archive of the New Year

The last "archive of the month" was apparently in - ahem - July, 2008.  Well, here's the archive of the New Year, just in time for the holidays.

A funny little morsel from the 1991 Ladies' Night, featuring long-time collaborators Marta Miller and Deborah Tacon, Janice Mirajanian (my aerobics guru from that era), improviser Jackie Shue, and Holly Poundstone-Corey, who was my backyard neighbor before we danced together...and whose girls Lily and Daphne were later in the cast of Porch Stories!

To the irresistible music of Rahsaan Roland Kirk, shot with way-better-than-average sensitivity by Dean Moss at Danspace Project.

Happy Kwanzichanumas!