Emily Coates: Incarnations – Danspace Project
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Emily Coates: Incarnations

Photo: Ian Douglas
Photo: Ian Douglas

Performed in-progress as part of Danspace Project’s Platform 2015: Dancers, Buildings and People in the Streets, Incarnations is made up of a series of etudes on dancing with science. Based on Emily Coates’ collaboration with particle physicist Sarah Demers, the piece moves between lecture and performance, interweaving divergent sources, from Balanchine’s Apollo and postmodernist dance aesthetics to the elusive body of Sir Isaac Newton and the breakthrough discovery of the Higgs boson.

The piece illuminates humorous gaps and surprising insights as each discipline struggles to imagine the other. The moments in which the interdisciplinary dialogue must out of necessity break down also yield some of the most effective poetics. Playful and serious, Incarnations celebrates physics and dance as equal partners in our profound effort to understand our existence.

Physicists can explain four percent of the universe. Ninety-six percent remains unknown. Incarnations lingers on both the known and the unknowable, and returns knowledge to human form—casting, in essence, who gets to play god.

The performance on Thursday, March 16 will be followed by a discussion moderated by Douglas Crimp.

Performers: Emily Coates, Sarah Demers, Lacina Coulibaly, Iréne Hultman, Jon Kinzel, Will Orzo; special appearance by Yvonne Rainer
Lighting by: Carol Mullins
Music direction by: Will Orzo