Far from the “lights and tights” aesthetic of many dances, these videos all exemplify more elaborate stage pictures which elevate the movement onto an entirely different plane.
Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet
Necessity, Again, 2013
Norwegian choreographer Jo Strømgren brought his own small company to the Pillow in 2003, but in Necessity, Again he employs Cedar Lake’s larger canvas to create a world that seems simultaneously exciting and inviting.
Vertigo Dance Company
Not to be confused with Canada’s O Vertigo Danse, this group hails from Israel and made its 2012 Pillow debut with Mana. They stretched the Ted Shawn Theatre’s resources by creating an onstage house that rotates and creates an ever-changing environment.
The projections employed in this full-evening work were extraordinary, giving audiences the feeling that they had actually visited Havana rather than simply witnessing one of that city’s most influential dance companies in its U.S. debut. The section of the dance seen here features some remarkable ensemble work, and a dizzying manipulation of one particular dancer that is guaranteed to make your head spin!
Tense Dave, 2005
It’s immediately apparent that this dance is fully integrated with its stage setting, which shifts constantly throughout the performance.
Company founder-director Moses Pendleton has been making stage magic for more than 40 years now, starting as one of the creators of Pilobolus. His full-evening Passion expands the boundaries of dance and encompasses mesmerizing imagery.
Jessica Lang Dance
Within the Space I Hold, 2013
The world premiere of Jessica Lang’s Within the Space I Hold featured an astounding set by the design team known as molo. Be sure to watch until the very end of this clip, as you’ll witness a remarkable lighting effect with a light-up tutu!
Beth Soll and Company
A Shaker Dance, 1988
Ironically, one of the most elaborate sets ever to be seen on Inside/Out was the backdrop for a work about the Shakers, who memorably believed “’tis a gift to be simple.” After viewing an excerpt from Beth Soll’s work, you can follow a link on her Dance Interactive page to Tero Saarinen’s Borrowed Light, an important Shaker-inspired work which returned to the Pillow by popular demand in 2012.
Trisha Brown Dance Company
Set and Reset, 1986
The set and costumes for this collaboration were created by Robert Rauschenberg, whose designs were first seen at the Pillow in Merce Cunningham’s Nocturnes nearly 30 years earlier. The landmark 1983 Set and Reset was co-commissioned by the Pillow.
Gala Performance, 1959
As if it were not enough to ponder how this elaborate set could fit on the Ted Shawn Theatre stage (then a dozen feet shallower than it is now), this Antony Tudor classic has two scenes with different settings, and it was on a program with four other ballets. What’s more, this program was only one of those presented by Ballet Rambert in a three-week Pillow season, the others being the full-length story ballets Giselle and Coppelia.