This is the first official work premiered under the new company name, which made it a very exciting venture. It began in collaboration with Barbara Januszkiewicz, a tremendous artist, and the Athenaeum, a gallery space in Alexandria, VA. Together, we produced Light Exists, a work that uses a modern dance vocabulary to travel through visual and auditory landscapes. Classical guitarist Mark Charles Smith joined us from Greensboro, NC, playing some of his own compositions and improvisations alongside our choreography and improvisations. The performance took place on June 2, 2019.
The dance vocabulary sprung primarily from the art itself, especially for the two large improvisation scores. I read Barbara’s words about her art, and I spoke with her extensively about her process. From these discussions I picked four words that stood out: melt, veil, luminous, and illusory. My dancers and I created movements related to each word and from there began to craft phrases and moments. Barbara also gave us some of her actual work, “reject” paintings that she didn’t like enough to hang on the walls or sell. We began to experiment with dancing on them, cutting them, placing them in the space on objects and people, and wearing them. Many of our experiments were only fully realized in the space of the performance: you can only cut something once, after all! Learning to give in to the unknown and to enjoy the freshness and imperfection of the moment was part of the joy of doing this work.