Knowing the world as a gift
Wild Daffodils

Tunes for a Monday Morning

Pilobolus' ''Shadowland''

This morning's videos feature dance and movement of various kinds, beginning with "Transformation" from Shadowland, a show devised and performed by Pilobolus Dance Theatre, based in Connecticut. Created in collaboration with writer Steven Banks and composer David Poe, Shadowland is "a fusion of shadow theatre, illusion and dance using dynamic screens, where exotic creatures and beautiful images are magically conjured seemingly out of thin air."

Below, "Myth and Infrastructure" by Miwa Matreyek, an animator and performance artist from Los Angeles, with music by Anna Oxygen, Mirah, Caroline Lufkin, and Mileece.  Matreyek describes her work as "an exploration of shadow and animation and themes of domestic spaces, dream-like vignettes, large and small cities, magical powers. I feel like it’s really based on me being a night owl and working in the middle of the night that feels like it could last forever -- creating little secrets and being inspired by what’s around me." It's a magical piece -- and becomes truly amazing about one third of the way in, so please stick with it.


Above, a poignant and strangely beautiful video for "Wandering Star” by the alt rock band Poliça (Minneapolis), directed by Eugene Lee Yang (Los Angeles), with choreography by Yemi AD (Czech Republic). In this twist on the Greek myth of Pygmalion, an elderly artist, alone in her studio, is surrounded by memories of past paintings and loved ones who come to life, rousing her from emotional slumber. (I particularly love the moment when she's embraced by the last of the single dancers, who I imagine to be a representation of her younger self.)  "I’ve forever been fascinated by the fanciful prospect of art observing us," says Yang, "similar to the old adage, 'if these walls could talk'…or in this case, if these paintings could dance. I am a fervent believer that dance is the body’s way of communicating when the voice cannot."

Below, Sergei Polunin (Kherson, Ukraine) dances to "Take Me to Church" by Hozier (Wicklow, Ireland), in a gorgeous video directed by multi-media artist David LaChapelle (Los Angeles), with choreography by Jade Hale-Christofi (North London). Polunin was a principal dancer with the British Royal Ballet and now dances with the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre and the Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre. Compared to the layered complexities of the other videos, the power of this one is in its simplicity: just light, mist, and the human body in motion.

Art copyright by Alan Lee
Drawing by Alan Lee