In the spring 2014, Sperling was invited to participate in a 43-day polar science mission to the Chukchi Sea (north of the Bering Strait), as part of an outreach team on climate science communication. In anticipation of the journey, Sperling created the solo Arctic Memory as a reverse memory, or an imaginary projection, of realm she was yet to encounter. In the dance, Sperling wears a long cape hand-painted with designs suggestive of Arctic pack ice. This costume later accompanied Sperling to the Arctic. She wore it on the dozen occasions she danced on sea ice and it is featured in the movie Ice Floe.
The solo begins in stately way, suggestive of thick, slow-moving multi-year ice floes that are highly endangered. As the dance rolls on, the movements become quicker and more dynamic like the movements of thinning sea ice itself. In the end, there is a chaotic fracturing and a melting disappearance. The music by Brooks Williams and Beo Morales re-mixes early vibraphone recordings made for scientific purposes in the polar regions.
CHOREOGRAPHY: Jody Sperling | DANCER: Jody Sperling
LENGTH: 4 1/2 minutes
MUSIC: Brooks Williams & Beo Morales
COSTUME DESIGN: Mary Jo Mecca, Gina Nagy Burns & Jody Sperling
COSTUME CONSTRUCTION: Mary Jo Mecca
TEXTILE PAINTING: Gina Nagy Burns
LIGHTING: David Ferri
photo by Antonia K. Miranda