The Art of Dance


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

captivating piece.

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.

  • All
  • Jessica Lang Dance
  • Yamato Drummers

2016-17 SEASON  ////////////////

  • All
  • A Christmas Carol (2016)
  • Capitol Steps
  • Che Malambo
  • Doo Wop
  • The Giver
  • The Moth Mainstage