Liz Gerring Dance Company

Lichtung/Clearing

2010
  • Lichtung / Clearing (2010, 50 minutes)
  • Premiered at Baryshnikov Arts Center, NYC, March 11-14, 2010
  • In Collaboration with Ursula Scherrer, video and Michael J. Schumacher, multi-channel sound.

“a collaborative visual/sound/movement environment - 3 elements in 3 dimensions”

Cinematic in proportions, movement is enveloped in video and sound. For seven dancers including the choreographer.

Liz Gerring: “We’re attempting to create an environment in which meaning is derived from the image not the story. Non-narrative movement is deepened by the other media, each following a parallel trajectory or tangent, allowing ‘story’ to exist independently for each member of the audience.”

Ursula Scherrer: “‘Die Lichtung’ is German for clearing. ‘Das Licht’ is ‘the light’. For me, in a way, every piece is a kind of a clearing. We take something out of a greater context, out of our vision, be it in sounds, images or movements and share that with the audience.”

Michael Schumacher: “The musical composition is diffused through a 6-speaker sound system placed around the room. The piece is a collage of field recordings, musique concrete and the composer playing guitar. A prominent sound is a set of recordings of the dancers’ footsteps, recorded during rehearsals. Text is also featured, from the Disintegrating Language group active in Britain in the 60s, and by Ursula Scherrer, read in German.”

You watch “Lichtung/Clearing” much as you do Cunningham’s “RainForest” (1968): a drama where the feral, the primitive and the civilized all interconnect. Steps keep dissolving into through-the-body gestures, and every part of the physique is given a fresh inflection. There are other choreographers from whom Ms. Gerring has learned, notably Trisha Brown (those peripheries!). But Ms. Gerring seems unencumbered by any such debts. Her immediacy is her own; “Lichtung/ Clearing”, which I recall as both psychodrama and zoological reportage, is a major achievement.

Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, March 2010

  • Liz Gerring choreography
  • Ursula Scherrer video set design
  • Michael J. Schumacher multi channel sound composition
  • Carolyn Wong lighting design
  • Deanna Berg costume design

original dancers:

  • Elizabeth DeMent
  • Philip Montana
  • Tony Neidenbach
  • Adele Nickel
  • Matt Sweeney
  • Jessica Weiss