Dance Is Not Forever, and He’ll Prove it
One year ago, visual artist Daniel Arsham proposed a set design for choreographer Jonah Bokaer’s new work CURTAIN: “The stage design will be composed of a non-Newtonian substance that I have developed over the last year,” Arsham wrote. “It is a material that has properties of both a solid and of a liquid. It defies the laws of Newtonian physics. This material will be used to construct architectural forms of various scales that will transform into an amorphous form. Structures will dissolve as the dance is occurring.”
Without hesitation, Jonah Bokaer started a dance.
Running tonight through Sunday at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in the Berkshires, CURTAIN is the real deal of cross-disciplinary exchange. Without a hierarchy determining which element would be created first, the piece emerged from the simultaneous evolution of images, music, and movement. The result is a non-narrative exploration of the transitory nature of dance. On every level, it reminds us that dance happens once and is gone forever.
Both based in New York, Bokaer and Arsham have a long-standing creative alliance. “Daniel Arsham and I are professionally, artistically united by the wish to advance ideas about the moving body in the built domain of performance architecture, onstage, and in gallery spaces,” Bokaer says. However, it wasn’t until they began work in a large studio in Hudson, NY that the message of CURTAIN became clear. “I realized [it] is about the dissolution of theatrical traditions that divide stage design from movement design,” Bokaer explains. “The body is presented as an element of design, and the design is presented as a moving entity.”
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This post is part of an ongoing partnership between DancePulp and Theater Development Fund. Visit tdf Stages for more information.