Though dance may be experienced as an ephemeral art form, New York-based choreographer Jessica Lang presented a series of performance pieces that took the audience on a tangible and memorable journey through conceptual, personal and socially conscious environments. The program flawlessly integrated accomplished modern and classical dance movement, evocative costumes and stunning architectural objects in abstract and timeless spaces amplified by mesmerizing sound tracks and video backdrops that involved an expansive assembly of creative collaborators.
Image: Tesseracts of Time, photo courtesy of Jessica Lang Dance

The first work, Tesseracts of Time, conceived by architect Steven Holl in collaboration with Lang and Architectural Director Dimitra Tsachretia, consisted of four segments, during which dancers moved in typically angular form “under,” “in,” “on,” and “over” the fragments of “tesseracts,” which are ‘geometrically the four-dimensional analog of the cube; with a cube consisting of six square faces, the hypersurface of the tesseract consists of eight cubical cells.’ Music by contemporary composers David Lang, Morton Feldman, John Cage, Iannis Xenakis and Arvo Part. Costume design by Brandon McDonald, lighting design by Nicole Pearce, Artistic Assistance to Film, Kenji Segawa, Technical Assistant for Filming Dancers, Milan Misko, and Stage Set Construction by Paper Mache Monkey.

Next was The Calling, a solo dancer wearing an exquisite long flowing white dress and moving in a slow meditative manner evoking a sense of personal inner reflection. Costume conceived by Lang and designed by Elena Comendador and performed to the transcendental music of Trio Medaeval, Thousand Yard Stare brought us into a stark scene — the stage stripped of any scenery or backdrop exposing the lightening fixtures and industrial back wall. The dancers in military-style uniforms marched in formation, dragged themselves over the floor and carried each other portraying to the music of Beethoven in what Lang clearly acknowledges as a vision of war and an homage to courageous veterans.
Image: The Calling, photo by Komaru

The final two pieces fully integrated the use of video/film projection. White created with Director of Photography Shinichi Maruyama took to us into an abstraction of time and space with dancers layering over each another and moving in variations of real time, slow motion, fast forward. The final work, i.n.k., presented a production of images, sound and movement, with video art by Maruyama, original score by Jakub Ciupinski, costumes by Elena Comendador and lighting by Nicole Pearce and teams of video editor/compositors. The black and white design of the moving splashes and globs of fluid on the screen, the shapes and shadows of dances and the created a perfectly synergistic and immersive viewing experience.

Dancers in the company are: Clifton Brown, Patrick Coker, Julie Fiorenza, John Harnage, Eve Jacobs, Kana Kimura, Laura Mead, Milan Misko, and Jammie Walker.

Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center continues with Alvin Ailey’s American Dance Theater (March 8-12), Scottish Ballet: A Streetcar Named Desire (May 19-21), Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg: Tchaikovsky (June 23-25), and BalletNow (July 28-30). Visit the website for more details.