The Latest Update
Unfinished’s recent run at Dixon Place
Fresh off two weekends at Dixon Place, Heidi Latsky Dance’s latest work Unfinished has been referred to as “magic”, “exquisite”, and “compelling!” A chambers-style intimate piece for a trio (a prologue begins it) the dance gets in audiences’ faces, sweat and all. With nearly sold out performances and consistent standing O’s, Unfinished is primed to set other stages ablaze.
Among the pleasant reactions to the work, audiences didn’t seem to single out featured disabled dancers as they have been in previous productions, rather all the dancers were appreciated for their craft. Similarly, HLD has experienced nondisabled dancers being “erased” from critical reviews and comments whereas in this production Heidi Latsky, Jillian Hollis, and Meredith Fages were applauded for their fierce work.
Audiences also couldn’t get enough of Ximena Borges’ creative musical direction. The pairings of creative audio description, ferocious rhythms, and classical compositions diversified the response to the evening.
What’s next for Unfinished? A short tour to Miami for the Wheeling Forward Festival hosted by Karen Peterson & Dancers, late September. Look out for more performances and the produced trailer below!
ON DISPLAY CHAMBER now UNFINISHED
Heidi Latsky Dance has evolved what ON DISPLAY CHAMBER means and will do. Now, a musing on the strategies and rituals to avoid or relate to death, UNFINISHED will use varied compositions and artistic stimuli to lift the work.
In 2015 modern choreographer Heidi Latsky created a public art installation called ON DISPLAY, a silent sculpture court featuring 15-35 diverse performers varying in age, size, race, disability, and gender as those sculptures to deepen a societal awareness of difference toward a goal of greater inclusion. Over 90 minutes, performers subtly morph into new poses as passersby and audiences walk through the court, be quiet with the sculptures, and confront varying prejudices with the body, inclusion, and disability. Multiple iterations have been created for spaces like the UN and Whitney Museum. Each installation naturally involves the community in the process as the performance impedes on the audience space. Additionally, each sculpture court is reconfigured from scratch for every venue it inhabits. Over the continual development of ON DISPLAY Latsky employed more explicit choreography, called timestamps, a frenetic bout of movement where audiences catch a glimpse of an individual dancer’s authenticity and power before they return to stillness. Latsky designed the timestamps in exciting orders and juxtapositions. The Met Museum invited Heidi Latsky Dance to perform this iteration in Athens and coordinate 50 Greek volunteers to join in the experience as well.
This experimentation with space and “voice” will be the foundation of ON DISPLAY Chamber, now UNFINISHED – an intimate version of the grandiose ON DISPLAY. Central to this piece’s process is the input of Ximena Borges, an opera “remix” collagist and composer. For ON DISPLAY’s first showing at the Lincoln Center Atrium in Fall 2015, she crafted a score of clinical text physically describing 30 random people and layered atmospheric qualities like a growing party crowd or subway platform underneath. The music juxtaposed the individual’s journey during performance with ominous labels like “bald” or “withered left leg” while complicating the ear with contexts where one can expect to be noticed. This iteration was a deliberate pairing of sound and movement, constructed simultaneously to be replicated often.
For ON DISPLAY Chamber, Borges will expound on her almost psychological study of how sound influences the act of seeing by augmenting her and the dancers’ voices in compositions. Latsky is devising choreography from the larger installation, now for 4 dancers varying in intersectional qualities – two people with disabilities, two non-disabled dancers, two women, two men, two white, one Asian, one Black, and all four spanning a spectrum of time within the company from 15 years to 1 year. With this group, Latsky will create a shared movement vocabulary referencing each dancers’ timestamp and allowing them to interpret each other’s. Together the dancers and the creative team will orchestrate phrases that play off the subtleties of Borges’ compositions to uphold the individual voice within a dynamic new dance experience.
An example of Ximena Borges’ ability to transcribe emotion through nonlinear and abstract compositional tools. Here her voice has a metronomic not unlike the monotone clinical text in her orchestration of ON DISPLAY for Lincoln Center. So, this attention to a steady rhythm and still whimsical entry against her music are highly desired qualities for this project. She’ll bring a technical aspect to the work that will still have a healthy amount of emotion that is not overwrought.
This is an example of Ximena’s deft understanding of storytelling, here singing in her native Spanish. Almost a lullaby, the composition is simple until she complicates it with layered sound, instrument, and other qualities. This quality will be transferred to Chamber to retain a sense of intimacy.
An example of Heidi’s construction of a timestamp, here created with dancer Meredith Fages. In the movement are “love notes” Meredith came to identify with based on her experiences as a dancer over the years. With Heidi’s help, she constructed this solo to underscore her love for technical, yet emotional movement. Heidi has gone on to construct other timestamps in this vein for more company members and will bring this process into the creation of Chamber
Start and End Dates
New York, New York