Above: from Jennifer Muller's MISERERE NOBIS, with dancer Shiho Tanaka in the left-foreground
Thursday November 20th, 2014 - Celebrating the remarkable milestone of a 40th anniversary, Jennifer Muller/The Works invited friends of the Company to a studio showing tonight. Excerpts from five Jennifer Muller danceworks - plus a complete showing of her most recent creation, MISERERE NOBIS - were performed by The Works' distinctive, dynamic dancers.
Above: dancer Michael Tomlinson warming up
The dances shown tonight ranged in date-of-creation from 2005 (ISLAND) to Jennifer's current and wonderfully-contrasted successes MISERERE NOBIS and WHEW! As with all the finest choreographers over time, she has delved deeply into the vast catalog of music: tonight alone we heard Allegri, Mozart, and Barber in tandem with such contemporary composers as Julia Kent, Peter Muller, and Marty Beller. One moment we are in church and the next we are being jazzed; this musical variety keeps everything at The Works fresh and vivid.
In the intimate studio space, we the viewers come as close to dance as we are likely to get. The dancers of Jennifer's company know this room so well that they are able to dance full-out without concern for spatial limitations. Big lifts, often a motif in Jennifer's choreography, are often accomplished with just centimeters of head-room; but the dancers all seem to have a sixth sense of just how far they can take things.
The programme was so well-devised, with Jennifer's illuminating commentary between works just enough to give us insight without becoming too chatty. The dancing was vivid and personal.
I attempted to take some photos but most of the movement was too swift for me to capture. Gen Hashimoto (above) was briefly almost still in his beautifully-executed solo from ARIA, performed to the poignant "Dalla sua pace" from Mozart's DON GIOVANNI.
Otherwise, my only successful images came from MISERERE NOBIS which happens to be a particular favorite of mine from among Jennifer's works. Here are a few photos from this all-female ensemble work: