The Choreography of New Dances: Jeremy Blair and 2:00 AM, Delancey St.

Jeremy Blair (Photo by Cheryl Mann, courtesy of Thodos Dance Chicago)

Balance is always an issue in movement, but in "2:00 AM, Delancy St." Jeremy Blair is concerned with a deeper balance: understanding the differences between what we want and what we really need. To set the background for his look at choices and desires, Blair uses the bleak landscpape of the city -- not the bright, money-to-burn, VIP city, but the nothing-you-don't-need part of the city, the city where people stay out all night, but only because they don't have anywhere else they can be. Balance is always an issue in art, and Blair carefully balances the edgy and the melancholy in his movements as in his soundtrack, implying deep, and sometimes dark questions about choices. When are you working, and when are you just selling your self? What would you do for love, and is it really still love if you would do that? When people are bound to one another, what forces can bind them? Balance is always an issue in life-choices, but what happens when choices already made throw everything that follows out of balance?

"2:00 AM, Delancy St." begins to a muffled soundscape of dark street sounds, with five dancers huddled in what seems an uncertain anticipation, until the rhythm of the city begins to set them in motion. When a single dancer strikes out, sweeping across the floor, it inspires a concealed, pack-like response from the rest of the group. Vaguely menacing, their reaction leaves the lone dancer increasingly stranded and alone -- perhaps the price she must pay for having made an individual choice, for acting without the prior approval of her society. In a progression of richly-blended movement-stories, Blair continues to explore the consequences of individual choices, but in the bleak context of a life where none of the choices are very promising, where the search for equilibrium can at best balance menace and melancholy.

In setting his choreography-painting of choice and conformity in the middle of the night, in the middle of the street, Blair implies another, more provoking question about individuality: if the choices that bind you are choices you never made, but were imposed on you by others who chose a structure for your life, what then? Maybe defiance is the only choice you have.

Thodos Dance Chicago’s NEW DANCES 2010 will be presented July 16 and 17 at 8PM and on Sunday July 18 at 5PM at The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, 1306 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago 60605. (312) 369-8330


Sharon Joyce Kung and "Just Before Now"
Brian Hare and "Temporary Proof"
Wade Schaaf and "Dancer, Net"
Jacqueline Stewart and "Jiffy Pop"
Joshua Manculich and "____versus____"
Danielle Scanlon and "Heart Strings"
Francisco Avina and Stephanie Martinez Bennitt and "Quieting the Clock"
Jeremy Blair and "2:00 AM, Delancy St."
Jessica Miller Tomlinson and "Big Technique"

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