‘Light–Dark–Light–Heavy’ - a dance performance for one dancer, light and sound.
Light–Dark–Light–Heavy is a cross-arts collaboration between
Ellen Kilsgaard (dance)
Chris Crickmay (visual art)
Sharon Stewart (sound)
Performed by Ellen Kilsgaard.
This track is the sound design. Watch full performance on Vimeo:
a choreography for light, dance and sound
Performance June 14th 2015 - CPH-Stage Copenhagen
In the beginning, stillness, darkness and quiet pervade. From this expanse of possibility, light, sound and movement emerge, weaving a journey in which you are invited to enter an imaginary space of association, memory and fantasy knitted together with the movement-body of the dancer. Is the dancer lighting the space or does the space light the dancer? Does the sound propel the movement, or does the movement generate the sounds? What fantasies arise within the quiet, darkness and stillness to merge with the living energy of the performance?
Light–Dark–Light–Heavy is a small scale, intimate piece that uses modest means to achieve dramatic effects and emotionally charged moments. The work explores the visual and acoustic physicality of a given space and what this space might perceptually and imaginatively become. Movement, light and sound draw us (as audience) inward to intimate spaces of the body and then out into what seem to become crowded spaces with many presences, or again further out into large open expanses – to landscapes and places beyond. It is an abstract work, yet it evokes a multitude of associations, connecting us with the familiar everyday world we all share and to places beyond, to nameless presences and circumstances such as arise in our individual dreams.
The title uses ‘lightness’ in two senses – ‘light’ as in the lightness of the body and light as in illumination. The title also refers to darkness/ shade/ shadow as positive qualities of their own (not just an absence of light) and heaviness or weight, implying the grounded physical presence and reality of a moving body in space.
The light, which is carried by the dancer, amplifies even the smallest movement, creating a continuously transforming visual environment, which she inhabits. Through the reflections from skin, clothing and the architectural space, ‘sensory landscapes’ emerge and extend the moving body outwards, making it part of a single, continually transforming world with neither foreground nor background. Instead of being lit from the outside the piece is, as it were, lit from within.
The dancer both creates and inhabits a place that emerges and shifts before us as we witness it. One might say we witness the internal life or the ‘coming alive’ of a person – a person who exists, not just alone in the imaginary and real space of performance, but also in the company of her audience, who travel with her, seeing what she sees, feeling what she feels. The experiencing body of the performer evokes a unique perceptual journey within each audience member.
The sound is a mix of (sometimes highly modified) field recordings and physically modeled synthesized sound. It has been designed to trigger associations while remaining in an open dialogue with the visual and moving dimensions of the piece, balancing in an ambiguous relationship with the dancer’s motion, sometimes seeming to emerge from the very actions of the performer while, perhaps simultaneously, seeming to propel the performer into motion or stillness. At other times it might suggest a parallel world in which interaction is coincidental.