Over a span of nearly 40 years, choreographer Jennifer Muller has created more than 100 pieces, sometimes incorporating other media in her compositions; she has collaborated with such disparate and noteworthy artists as Yoko Ono, Keith Haring and Keith Jarrett. She has choreographed for the theater, written plays and designed lighting, décor and costumes. In 2007, the Joyce Theater commissioned Muller to create a new piece called Bench, and in 2009 she choreographed the opera Esther at the New York City Opera. She has been commissioned to create dances by companies around the world, and has won numerous awards, the most recent of which was FENDAFOR 10’s 2010 Trophy of Cultural Responsibility, in recognition of her invaluable contributions to promoting contemporary dance throughout South America.
Now Muller returns to Kaatsbaan with a retrospective of sorts on Saturday, May 5. The performance, which starts at 7:30 p.m., features four dances, including an early piece from 1978, Lovers, which is based on the imagery of Gustav Klimt’s work and traces a relationship as it moves from the infatuation of youth to the seasoned and trusting love of maturity. Flowers was inspired by the photographs of Barbara Bordnick, and is set to original music by Lawrence Nachsin; the impressionistic piece captures the blooms’ growth, delicacy, sensuality, mortality and fleeting beauty. Momentum is a homage to New York City, while a work just composed this year, titled Spam, which was part of a recent collaboration with the Da Capo Chamber Players, reflects the overloading of our contemporary lifestyles: “the hassle and commotion that accompany even the simplest tasks, making it next to impossible to experience a calm existence,” as Muller describes it. It’s an experience with which most of us can identify.
Tickets cost $25; children and student rush (at the door with ID) pay $10. Situated on 153 idyllic acres, the Kaatsbaan International Dance Center is located at 120 Broadway in Tivoli. For more information, visit www.kaatsbaan.org.