Available Light brought together three giants of postwar American culture: choreographer Lucinda Childs, composer John Adams and architect Frank Gehry in a new production first staged in 1983.
Available Light beautifully united the distinct visions of its three creators. Gehry’s designs playfully subverting convention, setting a backdrop of chain-link fencing against a stage split over two levels. Adams’ hypnotic soundtrack pulsed out in waves, subtly blending acoustic brass with synthesisers and electronics as it anchored the movements of a dozen dancers. And Childs’ intricate, mesmerising choreography, playing with notions of space and time, brilliantly distilled the minimalist aesthetic that has long kept her work at the cutting edge.
A perfect fusion of music, movement and art, Available Light is a landmark in American dance.
‘At moments, the choreography’s fractured geometry takes on a dazingly complex, hall-of mirrors quality. As multiple iterations of the same phrase play out, it’s as if all the crystals in a chandelier have been set jangling, throwing light in all directions’ The Observer – 5 STARS
‘Available Light is cunning and contained, unpredictable yet inevitable, and ultimately exhilarating. I didn’t always know where to look but my eyes were constantly engaged’ The Times – 4 STARS
Choreographer Lucinda Childs (Available Light), composer Huang Ruo (Music for a Busy City), architect Ellen van Loon, director Walter Meierjohann and curator Hans Ulrich Obrist joined MIF Artistic Director John McGrath to discuss cultural spaces from the artist’s perspective in this special panel inspired by The Factory, Manchester’s soon-to-be-built arts venue.
The revival of Available Light was commissioned by the Cal Performances, University of California, Berkeley; Festspielhaus St Pölten; FringeArts, Philadelphia with the support of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage; Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center and The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association; Kampnagel Hamburg – Center for Fine Arts; Onassis Cultural Centre – Athens; Tanz im August, Berlin; and Théâtre de la Ville – Paris and Festival d’Automne à Paris. Available Light was developed at MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art). Produced by Pomegranate Arts, Inc. Photo: Available Light© JJ Tiziou