This piece was choreographed by Charlotte Boye-Christensen for members of NOW-ID and some members of University Dancers. The style of the choreography was based in ballet but was mixed with many modern aspects. It was performed outside the main entrance of the American Civil War Museum, Historic Tredegar which added breathtaking scenery and lighting to the performance that formed it into a magnificent piece of art. There was also an aspect of poetry added throughout the performance which led me to find a deeper meaning in the performance. Overall, I found the way all these performance elements came together created an experience that was beautiful and powerful, even in the cold nights air.
Of all the sections of the performance I found the duet between Julia and Karen to be the most striking because the contrast between the music and their movements. The music was jazzy with a sharp rhythm while their movements were very calm and controlled, moving in a way that should have apposed but somehow meshed well with the music. The costumes that all the performers wore were very complementary especially with the lights illuminating them in different colors depending on the mood of the dance. The lighting designer, Cole Adams, did an incredible job not only lighting the dancers but also the walls and space around the site making the aged walls of the museum reflect the mood of the piece and turning them into part of the performance. My favorite part about the lighting was seeing the shadows of the dancers on the brick walls behind them, I wasn’t sure if this was intentional or not but either way it brought movement to the space, one reason why it was interesting to have the performance be site specific.
Throughout the performance, I tried to find the intention and meaning of the piece but due to the constant switching of the music it was difficult for me to understand. The live poetry allowed me to focus my ideas and then use what I had just heard to interpret the next dance section. In general, I felt the meaning to do with a strong collective of people fighting for a cause and the gradual branching out of individuals, first Julia and then Karen, to be different and start a revolution. The performance, being site specific, also brought attention to the James River shoreline and the old Tredegar ironworks facility. Being able to see such a powerful performance that was fully orchestrated in only two weeks was an amazing opportunity. I loved the way the dancer’s movements and the poet’s voice were illuminated by the surroundings. I hope there are more opportunities in the future to experience other sight specific works because they are each so incredibly unique.