The Foundry

Salt Flat Pieces


Created by Alex Ketley and Christian burns

Improvisation, video, concept,choreography, text, and music created by the company co-founders

Premiered in 1998 and was the first presentation of a Foundry piece

Alex Ketley and Christian Burns drove from San Francisco to the Bonneville Salt Flat on the Utah Nevado border and spent a week videotaping and improvising in the desert. This was the first project that they pursued, and it ended up staging the direction for a five year exploration about how the environment affects the generation of movement. The piece is lonely, stark, beautiful, and young.



San Francisco Bay Guardian
May 1998

"The strongest film on the bill (the films were currated by Katy Kavanagh) was Salt Flat Pieces (1998), by Alex Ketley and Christian Burns. A man dressed in a gray suit and goggles dances with his briefcase across Utah's sea of salt. In one section, the precise modern balletics performed on-screen were mirrored by Ketley onstage. Another slow-motion, film only sequence features the man drop-kicking his briefcase and doing a series of elaborate falls evoking the spirit of corporate hysteria and bipolar downsizing. In the case of Salt Flat Pieces, the quality of the stage and the filmic choreography was equally strong, the two media contributing to a consistent mood. The film component emphasized the kinesthetic aspect of the movement, while the live dancing drew out the sparse visuals of the film: a gorgeous thing."

San Francisco Bay Guardian
May 1999

"The nice thing about being an interdisciplinary choreographer is that you can bring your performance installations to places other than dance spaces, which is just what The Foundry is doing this weekend. The extraordinary new company led by Christian Burns and Alex Ketley offers a new and, Burns adds, final version of their earlier dances Salt Flat Pieces and Current Form. The dances were performed as two separate pieces most recently at Dancers' Group's Edge Festival 1999, but now the two have become one with added sections, imagery, projections, and theatrical elements. The 5000 square feet of the JennJoy Gallery provide the backdrop for The foundry's moving and thoughtful washes, waves, and windows of dance; a treat for those who have seen the works in progress and for those who've yet to bask in their warm light."