Long Run

Long Run
Choreography and Music by Tere O’Connor
November 14 -16 8 PM
ODC Theater SF

Multiplicity in Movement

Tere O’Connor is a celebrated dance choreographer whose work has rarely been seen in the Bay Area although it has been applauded both nationally and internationally. In addition to his many choreographic credits, he is a professor of Dance at the Center for Advanced Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Long Run,” the event at ODC Theater goes on, uninterrupted for 70 minutes. The dancers take various breaks, sometimes leaving the stage, more often lying on the floor or just sitting in the ‘wings’ and watching who’s dancing. There are eight dancers, four women and four men. Each is an accomplished artist; all have amazing skills.They are: Simon Courchel, Eleanor Hullihan, Emma Judkins, Heather Olson, Silas Riener, Matthew Rogers, Lee Serle and Jin Ju Song-Begin. Silas Riener, a former member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, was working at ODC’S “Signals from the West” project at ODC in August of this year.

O’Connor’s Long Run (2017) is a major work which, said the choreographer, “pushes the emotional content of my movement to new physical extremes, allowing time-based elements like polyrhythms, velocity and duration to become critical forces, overtaking their bodies into a state of calm.”

O’Connor says the original score, composed entirely by and according to his custom, was begun and finalized only after the dance was complete. “The music is almost like an audience member commenting on the work. It can have a harmonious or discontinuous relationship to the dance.”

The work demands viewing skill from the audience as well as the stated challenges to the dancers. There are episodes of full group activity, trios, quartets and interludes of solo appearances. Most notable of these were performances by Silas Riemer, Lee Serle and Eleanor Hullihan and Jin Jun Song-Begin, although all the dancers emerge as accomplished soloists as well as brilliantly integrated members of the group.

Many movement sequences, groupings, interactions, lifts, holds and patterns of locomotion occur simultaneously. It is more than contrapuntal, since there are multiple ‘points’. “Long Run” is a study in continual collages. O’Connor is quoted as saying,  “The images are like an ocean of potential, so things appear and then they are erased.” This work adds to the accomplishments of current and evolving dance performance.

 

Eleanor Hullihan, Silas Riener in “Long Run