The Annenberg and NextMove present Jessica Lang Dance Dance as fine dining
By Camille Bacon-Smith
2 December 2018
In November, Jessica Lang Dance surprised fans by announcing that the company would disband in April, after its current touring season. Although I found the evening at the Annenberg a little uneven, world premiere “us/we” shines.
During the artists’ conversation after the November 30 performance, Lang compared a dance program to a meal and said she tries to offer a variety of styles — the audience doesn’t want a whole evening of dessert. These five dances lived up to her mission.
Lang’s lightness and “Glow”
“Solo Bach” opened the evening with selections from Bach’s Six Sonatas and Partitas for Violin Solo. Patrick Cocker danced with the lightness I expect from Lang, who deftly combined classic and modern elements, and even hinted at Baroque dance. However, it is barely an amuse-bouche, so slight I passed over it in last year’s review. It seemed strange to bring it back this year. The excerpt from “Aria” kept the music in the Baroque period with Handel’s gorgeous “Qual Nave” from the opera Radamisto. The trio (Julie Fiorenza, Eve Jacobs, and Laura Mead, in Fritz Masten’s flowing red dresses) could have stepped off a Grecian urn. The dance incorporated elements of Martha Graham and Isadora Duncan, including the iconic Duncan circle with upraised clasped hands. But if dance is a meal, we hadn’t reached the salad yet.