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: Ani Acopian
Music: Tomasz Bednarczyk, Delicate Steve/Dustin Wong, Lali Puna, Brian Eno
Premiered at the Center for the Arts Theater, Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT), December 2015.
"There is no real way to deal with everything we lose." —Joan Didion
You First is a postmodern dance nonet that combines choreography with improvisation in a neo-nostalgic meditation on home and dis/connection. The choreographic process for this work emerged from the initial score of moving on unstable ground. This instability in sense of place is often juxtaposed with moments of connection and tenderness, alluding to how people come to stand in for place, often becoming more important than place itself. Connections are made, broken, transformed, and returned to. People become and unbecome. You First considers what can be learned in observing the space/non-space between individuals, and how people and places might arrive at a queer coalescence.