JESSICA LANG DANCE
July 30, 2012
Jessica Lang Dance had its official compa.ny debut at the Doris Duke Theater at Jacob's Pillow this season. An inventive program, performed by the eleven company members begins with the world premiere of "LINES CUBED." Dancing to a techno-score by John Metcalfe and Thomas Metcalf, with lighting by Nicole Pearce and a set designed to resemble a Mondrian painting, the ensemble enters the white space with angular and purposeful movement.
Each section changes color, from red/pulsing, to yellow/ sassy and flirtatious, to blue/serious and deep. As the dancers unfold accordion-like scenery, new spaces or "rooms" evolve. A jungle gym of male dancers gives the women a chance to climb around gymnastically particularly because the ballet is full of lifts and throws.
A fluid solo danced to Bach Partita no. 3 in E Major was like watching a breath of air.
Danced lovingly with dramatic presence and musical sensitivity by Kanji Segawa, the
wonderful ebb and flow of the dance is reminiscent of a bow as it strokes the strings
of a violin.
The sensual pas de deux "Among the Stars" follows with the lithe Maggie Small
dancing on pointe with the omnipresent Clifton Brown. The couple begins separated by
a long train of organza attached to Ms.Small's chiffon dress. As the fabric becomes a
third element, it serves as a bridge, wall or chasm, eventually becoming its own free-
standing origami sculpture. Mr. Brown possesses a simple way of expressing emotion
and physicality which serves this piece well, matching the magical music by Ryuichi
After intermission, an excerpt from "Splendid Isolation II" entitled 'The Calling' features Kana Kimura. Wearing a white filagreed bodice and voluminous white
skirt, Kimura's solo moves from wide to narrow as the skirt seems to enfold and almost trap her body. Kimura's exquisite arms undulate and reach into space while melting into the
fabric, and sinking to the floor.
"From Foreign Lands and People" ends the afternoon. Performed eloquently
by pianist Taka Kigawa, it adds a rich layer to this deliciously comic ballet. The poetic
music of Robert Schumann's 'Kinderszenen' provides the perfect platform for the
comings and going of four couples....and their 5 square columns. The boxes are
climbed on, stacked, and slid off of in a variety of vignettes about relationships. Each
couple uses the scenery to hide or reveal themselves ending in a tableau where the
dancers literally unfold in order to connect. This contemporary ballet company is a
complete package- dancers, costumes, lighting, music and sets.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Deborah Wingert