News: Jody Sperling/Time Lapse Dance Celebrating 20 Years in 20 Weeks


Photo: "Wind Rose," by Phyllis McCabe
On May 14, choreographer Jody Sperling and her company Time Lapse Dance (TLD) launched a virtual celebration lasting 20 weeks and featuring a series of intense, intimate, and interactive events, from livestream conversations with collaborators to online premieres, presentations, workshops, rehearsal visits, and more. In addition to the events listed below, TLD will share themed content throughout each week on social media, and you can follow the company on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. #TLDAT20

For two decades, Time Lapse Dance has engaged audiences with ground-breaking choreography and visually-compelling productions inspired by climate change, as well as works expanding the legacy of early dance technologist Loie Fuller (1862-1928). Sperling has achieved international acclaim for her Fuller-style recreations which extend the body radically into space and into natural environs, such as the polar icescape.

"During this time of physical distancing, it's more important than ever for people to stay actively connected with one another in virtual spaces," said Jody Sperling, Choreographer/Artistic Director of Time Lapse Dance. "Dance is a unifying force, bringing together the moving body with imagination, curiosity, well-being, and larger communities. As we adjust to changing realities, we must each pivot to help envision and enact a future that is more just and sustainable for all. I believe dance has an important role to play in mobilizing this new future. Rather than a simple retrospective, #TLDat20 is our initiative aimed at reflecting on past and present, so as to move boldly into the uncertain territories ahead."

The schedule for the celebration's first three weeks includes:

Week 1: Wind and Breath: Climate Change Music and Dance
Thursday, May 14 at 7pm: YouTube Premiere of "Wind Rose," followed at 7:30pm by livestream conversation between choreographer Jody Sperling and composer Matthew Burtner. Longtime collaborators, Burtner and Sperling are both acclaimed for their creative engagement with climate change. Their work "Wind Rose" visualizes local and global winds patterns that are changing dramatically along with the earth's atmosphere. Wind is the breath of the planet, and though invisible, its swirling rhythms drive the forces of life. During the work creation, composer and choreographer discovered a new mode of collaboration that allowed for a synthesis of sound, movement, and airflow. Join the conversation to probe their process.

Friday, May 15 from 11-11:30am: "Breath and Breeze" movement workshop for families and people of all ages. Learn moves from "Wind Rose" and how to put them together to create a rhythmic breeze.

Week 2: Costuming: Sustainability and Transformation
Friday, May 22 from 5-6pm: Livestream conversation and DIY workshop with Jody Sperling and costume designer Lauren Gaston about sustainable costume design. The two will discuss their current collaborative process for a new work, "Plastic Harvest," which uses single-use plastics as featured material. The conversation will cover issues of sustainability and how costuming can help performers experience an empathic relationship with the environment. The session will conclude with a short DIY at home sustainable design project. 

Throughout the week TLD will share photos and videos of TLD's amazing costumes by its roster of collaborators including Mary Jo Mecca, Gina Nagy Burns, Michelle Ferranti, and E. Shura Pollatsek.

Week 3: Our City Streets, Performance and Redesign
Friday, May 29 at 2pm: Livestream panel with Lisa Orman (Streetopia UWS), Sara Lind (Broadway Task Force/Community Board 7), Jody Sperling, and other guests on how performance can help re-vision street use and design. TLD has produced annual Spot for Dance festivals for Park(ING) Day where artists and activists transform curbside parking spaces into public places. These performance festivals have provided opportunity for community-building around the issue of curbside reform. Social distancing necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic has revealed the urgent need for the city to rethink the streetscape in a way that prioritizes space for pedestrians over vehicles. Join us in this important conversation.

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