A collaboration between Maya Lee-Parritz and Jodi Melnick, inspired by novelist Clarice Lispector’s book of the same name, ÀGUA VIVA. This work insists on the mystical immediacy of life, and dances on its fragile conductive line. 
Premiered August 23, 2023 at Hudson Hall
Toured as part of OpenEndedGroup with Tom Chiu, November 2023 at University of Chicago Presents

Acclaimed choreographer Jodi Melnick & collaborator Maya Lee-Parritz premiere new work at Hudson Hall August 26 & 27, 2023

Água Viva, inspired Ukrainian-born Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector’s extraordinary feminist novel, probes the limits of spontaneity through intricate movement

Choreographed and performed by Jodi Melnick & Maya Lee-Parritz
Inspired by Água Viva (1973) by Clarice Lispector

Saturday, August 26, 2023 at 7pm
Sunday, August 27, 2023 at 4pm*

*In association with The Hudson Eye annual arts festival RECESS series

Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson Opera House
327 Warren Street, Hudson, NY 12534

(Left to right) Jodi Melnick, photo by Stephanie Berger; Maya Lee-Parritz
Hudson, NY – June 20, 2023:  Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson Opera House presents the premiere of Água Viva, a new dance work by renowned choreographer Jodi Melnick and collaborator Maya Lee-Parritz. A homage to Ukrainian-born Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector’s extraordinary 1973 feminist novel of the same name, the work expands upon Lispector’s notions of virtuosity, sexuality, and the spectacular, probing the limits of spontaneity through intricate movement.

Performances take place on Saturday, August 26 at 7pm and Sunday, August 27 at 4pm. The 4pm matinee is presented in association with The Hudson Eye annual arts festival RECESS series.

Described as “one of the most beautiful dancers there ever was” by Gia Koulas for Dance Magazine, Jodi Melnick creates movement that occupies a position somewhere between physical, written, and spoken language. She is deeply invested in how dance can be akin to a living text. “My vision is to demonstrate how dance can communicate, locate a nerve, and unhinge a narrative,” she says. Now, inspired by the unconventional novel Água Viva, she and co- choreographer Maya Lee -Parritz delve deep into Lispector’s poetic modes through movement. “By exploring spontaneity within choreographed forms, we aim to capture the present moment and make it glimmer.”

Clarice Lispector is widely considered to be Brazil's greatest modern writer. She was compared to Virginia Woolf by the famous translator Gregory Rabassa, complimented as a superior short story writer to Jorge Luis Borges by American poet Elizabeth Bishop, and more recently called “the most important Jewish writer since Kafka” by her biographer, Benjamin Moser. Translated as “the stream of life”, Água Viva is described in The Guardian as “a fictional account of a woman’s attempt to escape from conventional time and exist instead in a perpetually renewing ‘this instant-now’”. A meditation on the nature of life and time, it shows Lispector deeply transforming her individual experience into a universal poetry, as Melnick and Lee-Parritz do through dance.

Água Viva continues Melnick’s three decades long investigation of the female body. It also heralds her return to choreography following a period of a injury and the forced shutdown of the COVID-19 pandemic. These years also triggered her desire to be present for a younger generation of dance artists, like Lee-Parritz. She says: “I am grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Maya, whose choreographic process descends from and also departs from my own.” Together in the studio, the duo mines their own experiences through direct, unedited, and confessional movement meditations, ranging from anatomical and almost surgically precise physical investigations to wild and reckless impulse-driven explorations.