Events

Dances of Doom and Transcendence

Choreographer Gillian Walsh takes on dance as a “suicidal tendency” and considers mysticism in a time of global crisis.

(screenshot courtesy Gillian Walsh)

Dance movements are notoriously difficult to depict and record. Louis XIV, the great innovator and supporter of the ballets de cour that would become what we now recognize generally as “ballet,” commissioned the choreographer and composer Pierre Beauchamp to create a notation system; its elaborate diagrams mark turns, steps, floor patterns, entrances, and exits. In the 20th century, the wonderfully modernist marks of Labanotation approximated the ordered movements of dances through a set of binary oppositions in specific qualitative dimensions: Space (Direct/Indirect); Weight (Strong/Light); Time (Sudden/ Sustained); and Flow (Bound/Free).

Gillian Walsh has been interested in these themes of structural lineages and oppositions: the inside and outside of a dancer in a dance, what’s visible and what’s hidden, what we are supposed to see and not, how and why we attribute merit and value. This weekend, Danspace Project presents Walsh’s “Moon Fate Sin,” as part of Performa 17. Walsh plumbs deeply the hope and lure of the mystical amid global chaos; darker, more primal concerns take over from coolly cerebral strategies. With wide-ranging movement styles and themes of  “early psychoanalytic theory, occultist beliefs, and premonitions on the onset of world war,” there may be no smarter way of dancing at the precipice.

When: Thursday November 16–Saturday November 18 at 8pm
Where: Danspace Project at Saint Mark’s Church (131 East 10th Street, East Village, Manhattan)

More info here.

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