John Jasperse Informal Showing
april 6, 2016 10:30am
Remains (working title) is an evening-length, dance/music work by choreographer John Jasperse and composer John King. Sharing a dedication to experimentation and risk-taking, Jasperse and King, both award-winning artists and highly-respected in their fields, embark on their first collaboration with this project. The work, featuring five dancers and a score composed for electric guitar, viola and electronics, will look at alternative ways of considering legacy in dance and what as artists they wish to leave behind through their work.
Speaking of the work’s underlying impulses, Jasperse says: “We often act as if our self is isolated, beginning and ending in space with our skin, and in time with our birth and death. We make our mark whether our names are written in some subjective history book or not.” Remains explores a notion of legacy as waves that ripple outwards from one’s actions, where the boundaries of self are fluid and permeate one’s surroundings. In this view, we are all an integral part of what results from our actions.
Taking inspiration for process and structure from T.S. Elliot’s “Four Quartets,” Remains will “fold time back upon itself” through cross medium interchange. Rhythmic structures that originate in dance will be realized musically. Melodic or harmonic modes will inspire spatial forms. By choreographer and composer working alongside one another, the organization of time will pass between musical sound into movement and back again. King and Jasperse will also examine their respective connections and oppositions to early modernist pioneers in music and dance and how the radicalism of that seminal work might be adapted in order to respond to our own early 21st century context.
Central to this dialogue will be the construction of an extended dancing/musical body that includes physical matter, music and residual imagery on video in dialogue with dancing flesh. The work will use memory and the distortion of memory as a compositional tool, where the decay or transformation of a gesture or action will be incorporated into a compositional progression.
While at MANCC, Jasperse will organize and finalize movement vocabulary with his dancers. Jasperse will also meet with area artists to discover commonalities and distinctions in how their respective disciplines are defined and limited by ephemerality and immateriality.