ODC Studio B Theater, San Francisco
February 20-22, 2015
Gesture, line. Pattern, variation. Depth, duration.
I had the pleasure of meeting Nancy Karp while on residency at Djerassi in the fall of 2011; it was my first residency there in writing, and her second or third in choreography. I also had the opportunity to sublet her beautiful live/work studio during the summer of 2012 while she was away in Sicily creating the gesture, but not the target, and witnessed a performance of her work Continua in Light: Three Acts in San Francisco in 2013.
It is with fondness that I recall our afternoon walks on the Djerassi land, and our meandering conversations about dance, writing, landscape and art. While subletting her studio I listened to some selections in her music collection, including a Kronos Quartet album, which became the soundtrack for a sequence in the book I was writing. I also browsed her collection of books and devoured Yvonne Rainer’s Feelings Are Facts: A Life. Continua in Light: Three Acts was my first experience seeing her choreography live, and I was moved by her collaborative relationship to video projection and choral song, which gave the work added texture and dimensionality.
So when I asked Nancy if I could review her 35th Anniversary Season show—a world premiere of time and the weather and a-motion-upo-motio-n, and a re-staging of il Mercato, originally created in 2001—these experiences prepared me for what I was about to see: the space of the theater shifting and continually transforming with the work; movement influenced by visual art, literature and musical composition; and her attention to gesture, line, pattern, variation, depth and duration, all of which has informed her work over the past three decades.