Choreographer Jen Rosenblit interrogates the curiosity for difference inside a regime of the "natural."
In conversation, Jen Rosenblit is a liberal user of the double negative. “Not that that was not not a dance,” she said to me in passing over coffee on a chilly day in March, while we discussed her upcoming evening-length work, a Natural dance, premiering May 29 at The Kitchen.
Something about that circuitous "not, not" reminded me of Rosenblit's choreography, much of which revolves around the potential of a good pairing. In her previous work, she's toyed repeatedly with the provocative visual opposition of her own body posed with that of her longtime collaborator, Addys Gonzalez. The cast for a Natural dance, on the other hand, is much larger than a duet—it will include performers Justin Cabrillos, Hilary Clark, and Effie Bowen, in addition to Gonzalez—and its premise speaks of more expansive themes. The work is concerned with “ways of structuring bodies as they fall out of relation aesthetically and spiritually while still locating ways of being together.” If a Natural dance is anything like Rosenblit’s other pieces, the choreography will reflect her razor-like attention to detail, combined with a marked, cultivated lack of suaveness or sheen. I spoke with Rosenblit about her approach to thwarting her own tendencies, the challenges of ensemble work, and the logic of “the natural."[ Read More ]