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After Ever (1991)
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Commissioned Music: Stan Strickland
Sets: Pieter Smit (including 18’x22’ hand-knotted rope net)
Commissioned by Dance Umbrella
Additional music: David Byrne, by permission
While Pipe Dream responded to the Cyclorama’s height, After Ever was inspired by its circularity. The vast, circular space brought up images of lifecycles, circus rings and cycling or running tracks. The huge rope net that hung 18’ x 22’ Was designed by Pieter Smit and hand knotted by a former Navy rigger. The net bisected the space and became a metaphorical membrane between two worlds. The audience was seated in the round which was a challenge for the choreographer as each member of the audience got a different view of the work.The choreography was episodic with a recurring ”party” scene that moved around the periphery. In addition to Dance Collective’s professional dancers, bicyclists, skaters, and skateboarders glided around the ring.
At several points bicyclists and roller skaters circle the dancers, transforming the scene into a one ring circus act. However, the work subtly progresses toward a final scene which clearly symbolized the passage from Life to death.
After Ever left a haunting image. The huge net was lowered and dancers took turns climbing, falling, and ultimately trying to break through the net to the other side. All the dancers made it. The lights dimmed after the last pair had passed through, collapsing onto the sand.
Kramer’s After Ever is a disturbing work, but one that the audience appreciated and applauded. Despite its stranger moments, very few spectators left: the work was simply too intriguing. It felt very much like a horribly disturbing dream, but like many dreams it ultimately contained messages of insight.
- The Wellesley News, March 19, 1991