For his latest work, Remains, part of BAM’s 2016 Next Wave Festival (September 21 – 24), John Jasperse aimed to dig deep into dance as an ephemeral art form, and in some way, capture retentions implicit in its rich history. To do so he recalls his dance bloodline, his 30 plus years as a dancer/choreographer, pulling from “…what gets left over…and…how dance changes people,” plus iconic European images, he names: Pietà, Madonna and child, and the lounging nude, as inspiration. In all, they are “…things that touched him.” The other part of this endeavor is about being present. Remains, he promised, is about the “…residue or the leftover…[and]…the act of remaining.” Jasperse’s pallet is a sparse stage, framed by bold lines that strike across walls, illuminated at times. The performers, most of the time in black or solid colors, are sculpted bodies moving through time, taking turns coming and going in different vignettes. Contemporary lines and curves recreate European figures, mixing the past with the present, then curiously go beyond in blinged-out costumes resembling disco balls paired with a round of voguing. Jasperse’s dance through the times is lasting, especially in the way that Stuart Singer and Claire Westby move and goes about connecting to, and shaping the work. The lights are by Lenore Doxsee, the visual design is by Doxsee and Jasperse, costumes are by Baille Younkman and the performers are Maggie Cloud, Marc Crousillat, Burr Johnson, Heather Lang, Singer and Westby.
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I am a performer, historian, consultant and dance writer. I am a faculty member at Hunter College, Sarah Lawrence College (Guest), Empire State College's online program Center for Distance Learning. I am also a former faculty member of The Ailey School and the Alvin Ailey/Fordham University dance major program, Kean University and The Joffrey Ballet School's Jazz and Contemporary Trainee Program. I write on dance for The Amsterdam News, Dance Magazine and various publications. Click below to read more about me at my home page - "About Me."