TEEN AMBASSADOR: ERICKA CORREIA | FEBRUARY 20, 2018
The Art Of Dance
Jessica Lang used dance to tell many stories through amazing performance pieces. Each piece
she created could be interpreted in different ways. Some may see a dance piece as sorrowful,
where others may see it as a happy piece or a dance that shows strength. No matter what way
you interpret her dances each one touches you in a different way.
Jessica Lang is a choreographer who trained at Juliard in New York City and choreographed
many pieces. In this showcase, Jessica Lang’s dancers performed 5 pieces.
In the first few dances, there were aspects that made each one unique, but every dance was
timed perfectly and every step was in sync. The costuming fit every dance just right, too. The
colors matched the tone of the songs and complimented one another. Simplistic props were
incorporated into the costumes and background. They used things as simple as blocks and
ribbons to decorate the stage.
Although the costuming and props were great, what really made the performance outstanding
was the talent of the dancers. Jessica Lang created pieces where a specific strength of each
dancer was showcased. For example, the flexible dancer had many solos that included
flexibility,l. Also, one dancer was really good at pointe so she got the pointe solo. Many of the
dances incorporated lifts and moves requiring lots of strength, which Jessica gave to the
strongest dancers. Jessica also choreographed a piece called “The Calling” which featured a
man in a large skirt that danced only with his arms and upper body. This was a unique yet
The dancers all had perfect technique which gave each dance a clean polish. Mostly all the
dances were contemporary ballet, but modern and pointe were tied into a few of the dances
here and there. The music that went along with the dance was all instrumental and mainly
written by classical composers. You could tell that even without words the dancers could still
connect to the music and tell the story they envisioned.
One of Jessica’s most popular pieces is the “Thousand Yard Stare.” This piece was created to
honor veterans and tell their story through dance. This dance is actually part of the Zeiterion’s
Veterans’ Project. It took lots of planning to make the dance happen, but Jessica states that she
wanted to create it in the best way possible so she wouldn’t offend anyone, but also would be
telling the truth, and this takes lots of time and creativity.To create the perfect piece she
interviewed many veterans and asked them to tell their stories. She also asked them to listen to
a piece of music written by Beethoven and to draw what they felt. The drawings created by the
veterans are featured on the back of the costumes in the piece. Jessica did this to show how all
veterans may look alike from the front, but when they turn around they each have their own
Jessica says that once she started choreographing the dance she couldn’t stop and ideas kept
flowing from her mind. Her goal was to not only show the hardships and struggles of their
journey but to also capture the brotherhood formed between the veterans. Having seen the
finished product I can say that she definitely captured all of those key points. The dance
featured moments of silence where the dancers had no music to support them or when they just
froze and stayed there for a few counts. Each move was strong and sharp and the marching
and clapping gave the dance a little touch relating to those in the military. Jessica did an
excellent job creating such a wonderful piece that honored the story of true veterans.
If you haven’t gotten the chance to see one of Jessica Lang’s shows I highly suggest you
attend. You may not realize how powerful dance can be until you witness it yourself.