Forms of Dilemma was developed during a two-week residency at Vassar College during the summer of 2009. Set to Edvard Grieg’s outrageously melodic “Peer Gynt Suite,” this quartet is an essay on the interplay of light, shadow and movement. Expanding on Sperling’s dozen years of experience working with fabric, a La Loie Fuller, this work has the dancers furling and unfurling large white flags which catch light in hypnotic, spiraling arcs. This work premiered at the company’s 10th Anniversary Seasonat the Tribeca Performing Arts Center in February 2010.
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“Sperling mines the essence of Fuller and explodes the genre into a quartet, trio, and solo variations. With the bold use of the cyclorama, on which were projected shadows of moving dancers from the front and the rear, Sperling toyed with size, proportion, and motion while Ferri manipulated color on the cyc and on the dancers’ white costumes. The result was an arresting melange of cloth, dancers, and color, with the confluence of shadows looming large and small often working in counterpoint to the dance onstage. The delightful confusion created imaginative optical illusions, which supported the action by appearing to alter the affective presence of shadow and the visible dancer. . . . [It] all made for an orgy of portraiture which often overwhelmed the powers of perception. -Philip W. Sandstrom, Dance Insider
photo by Julie Lemberger