Magic-Lantern Dance (2000)

A unique collaboration between Sperling and Terry Borton, founder and director of the American Magic-Lantern Theater. In the style Loie Fuller, Sperling flutters a billowy white costume to catch projections from Borton’s 19th century magic-lantern. Images of the sea, ships, stars, flags, the faces of presidents, and other wondrous effects illuminate her moving skirts in time with a piano medley arranged and performed by pianist Jeffrey Middleton. (15 minutes)

CHOREOGRAPHY: Jody Sperling / DANCER: Jody Sperling
MUSIC: Varios Composers / PIANO: Jeffrey Middleton
PROJECTIONIST: Terry Borton / COSTUME: MIchelle Ferranti

For information about the magic-lantern and lantern performances, visit the American Magic-Lantern Theater.

“the audience oohs and ahs as time really does seem to wrinkle… as beguiling today as it must have been in Fuller’s era…” –Sandra Aberkalns, Dance Insider

“Fuller occasionally experimented with the magic lantern, a slide-projection device. Moving to a musical potpourri played by Mr. Middleton, and with Terry Borton as projectionist, Ms. Sperling let her body and the backdrop behind her be covered with images of waves, stars and abstract patterns in ‘Magic-Lantern Dance.’ This suite in the style of Fuller also included a gently comic patriotic scene in which portraits of Washington, Lincoln and Uncle Sam magically materialized. The solos were charming conjuring tricks, and E. Shura Pollatsek’s costumes honored the spirit of Fuller.” –Jack Anderson, The New York Times