You First (2015)

Choreography: Elle Hong and dancers
Assistant to the Choreographer: Paola Maseda
Dancers: Julia DeVarti, Ostin Fam, Kira Fitzgerald, Lakisha Gonsalves, Kai Magee, Ilana Newman, Thomas Reid, S. Sokolov, Wan Tat Abraham Tse
Lighting Design: Chelsie McPhilimy
Photography: Sandy Aldieri
Videography: Atlas Acopian
Music: Tomasz Bednarczyk, Delicate Steve/Dustin Wong, Lali Puna, Brian Eno

Premiered at the Center for the Arts Theater, Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT), 2015.


There is no real way to deal with everything we lose.”  —Joan Didion

You First is a postmodern nonet, meditating on themes of home and dis/connection. Dancers arrive at brief moments of stability before being thrust into situations of perpetual falling, or shoving, or un-righting. There is something very un-right about their world. They march lazily. They take up space, then are self-conscious over being perceived as taking up space. The ground is a rug being pulled from beneath, forever. Stillness and tenderness are present but fleeting. Connections are made, then broken, then returned to. Someone leaves at any moment. Deal with it. 

               How is someone felt through their absence? 
               What’s the difference between holding on and holding someone back?

The dancers make space for others and then themselves. They sometimes do their own thing, sometimes do the same thing. Sometimes the dancers intentionally do nothing.    

Stay for awhile.