LENGTH: 18:40
MUSIC: Quentin Chiappetta | LIGHTING: David Ferri

This work for six women distills patterns of air disturbance into kinetic sculptural forms. The music, composed by Quentin Chiappetta, was commissioned with funds from the American Music Center Live Music for Dance Program and is performed live by virtuoso percussionist Tigger Benford. With complex shifting rhythms, the score creates a dynamic aural architecture that the choreography navigates with spiraling vortices and rippling waves.

Turbulence expands on Sperling’s many years of fascination with the artistry of early modern dancer Loie Fuller (1862-1928). After Fuller’s style, the dancers don voluminous white silk capes that billow and undulate into captivating formations. The choreography juxtaposes dancers working with and without such Loïe-style capes, showing how differently each disquiets the space. At the end, all six dancers are swept up into a propulsive trance-like spinning finale. (20 minutes)

“a Loie Fuller-esque fantasia of swirling, undulating robes of frothy white silk, depicting dynamic currents of air. Assisted by long wands sewn into the rippling fabric, the dancers conjured billows, gusts and whirlwinds, tightly timed and coordinated patterns of hypnotic complexity.” – Eva Yaa Asantewaa, Infinite Body

“Danced by six women both with and without capes of light silk (what Sperling calls silk “à La Loïe”,) . . . ‘Turbulence’ makes visible the flow and force of air currents, eddies of movement in unexpected symmetries. The sweep of the dancers’ arms, legs, and whirling bodies were the conduits, and the billowing fabric danced the dance. The score, composed by Quentin Chiappetta, was played by Robert (Tigger) Benford on exotic drums and bells, tuneful percussion that both led and followed the movement.” Martha Sherman, DanceviewTimes

Slide-show photos: Julie Lemberger (images 1-3); Phyllis McCabe (images 4-6)