Known for her rigor, her startling images, and deceptively dramatic tension, choreographer Beth Gill makes elegant, spartan pieces that explore solitude, erasure, obsession, sexuality, transformation, freedom, restraint, and power. Her intimate, evening-long events are spatially-specific chambers for contemplating aesthetics, for examining problems with abstraction and formalism and for an awareness of perception itself. Through an economy of means, and the paradoxical luxury of stillness and slowness, Gill’s work alters and heightens ones experience of time. This sustained defamiliarizing quality, along with the work’s abstract and resonant palette, produces a fragmented sense of story, a world of sci-fi, hallucination, myth and fever dream. Gill sees design as an essential component and is alert to the sculptural quality of bodies and movement in affective dialogue with lighting and color. Sculptural, too, is her use of space, directing ones gaze peripherally or in one-pointed concentration, foregrounding and even closing the gap between performers and audience.

“Fatigued by a stoicism in my work, I wanted to unlock more emotional, psychological and dramatic space. I found the pressure for conceptual, academically researched dances frustrating. I wanted to make work the way I had as a girl with imagination, passion and intuition.”


photo: Maria Baranova