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High Fall (2002) ∙ DRIVE (2000)

collaborations with Cid Pearlman and Nesting Dolls Dance Company

High Fall, an interdisciplinary dance-theater work, investigates how people embody change when thrown out of their everyday experiences. Using a vigorous vocabulary of movement drawn from contemporary dance and popular culture, sung and spoken text, as well as video installation, High Fall unsettles the audience’s expectations by taking physical risks and crossing genres.

There are moments in which something extreme happens to a person–they must face an attack by force of nature, another person, their own psyche, an idea, a disease. Momentarily propelled into free fall, they exist in a place where they are not acting but being acted upon. High Fall investigates the vertigo that results as people reconfigure ourselves and determine how to continue on.

The piece was a collaboration with the Los Angeles (formerly San Francisco)-based dance company, Nesting Dolls. Video installations accompanied 50 minutes of dance. Three projectors produced an environment for the performance, along with music by Jonathan Segel and Victor Krummenacher of cult band Camper Van Beethoven. High Fall was performed at the Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica, California in December 2002. The film design and Jeff Cane’s set won the piece a Lester Horton Dance Award for set design.

Drive, shot in Super 8 and video, was filmed in Germany, Japan, Brazil and the United States. It explores the exhilaration of speed and the open road by cutting abstract imagery to the driving beats and drone of the highway.

The videos for Drive were created as part of an earlier collaboration with Nesting Dolls and Bay area composer Jonathan Segel. When performed, Drive consisted of three sections of dance, two of which integrated video projections into the set design. During the second section, a canted projector was aimed at the back stage wall which distorted and exaggerated landscape and roadside imagery, During the third section, video projections over hanging diaphanous cloth created an ethereal environment for the dance. Drive was performed at the Getty Center and the Highways Performance Space.