The Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Dance at Princeton University will present I’m annoyed when the only size is everyone, an improvised dance work choreographed by Princeton senior Jhor van der Horst. Performances will be held March 5 and 7 at 8:30 p.m. and March 6 at 7:00 p.m. in the Hearst Dance Theater at the Lewis Arts complex on the Princeton University campus. The performances are free and open to the public; however, seating is limited and advance ticket reservations are encouraged.
I’m annoyed when the only size is everyone represents van der Horst’s independent thesis in the Program in Dance. The three-hour dance work is presented in the round and seeks to complicate the relationship between performers’ embodied experience and audiences’ practiced readership. The choreographer explains, “I wanted to propose a work disinterested in neatly constructed narratives. Instead, during the rehearsal process, we created rules and rituals, only to let them go later. What remains is the embodied residue of six months of work, or perhaps of eight persons’ lifetimes of work.”
The work invites audience members to read and relate to the embodied knowledge of the performers in idiosyncratic ways. During the performance, the audience may move between the “performance space” and a “supplementary space,” which includes a library with dozens of texts and practices from which the work is constructed. Using strategies like those described above, the work simultaneously becomes a deeply meditative experience for performers and a “choose-your-own-adventure” experience for audience members. By presenting bodies as sites in which conversations around care and consent are practiced, van der Horst hopes to inspire questions rather than answers, asking: What is living? What is artificial? What is conscious? What is legible? What is practiced? What is habitual? Van der Horst notes his affinity for improvised dance, as it allows him to become vividly aware of the attention of performers.
Van der Horst is a senior in the Department of Art and Archaeology, within the Practice of Art track, a concentration focused on visual art studio practice that is a collaboration with the Lewis Center’s Program in Visual Arts. He is also pursuing certificates in the Lewis Center’s Programs in Dance and Theater. For his independent work in theater he presented a project titled ‘t kroos in January, dedicated to histories with different people over his lifetime, traced through his current morning rituals, and grown from the cracks between his artistic practice. Between March 23 and 27, his independent work in visual arts will be presented in the Hagan Studio at 185 Nassau Street.
Through the Alex Adam ‘07 Award, van der Horst received substantial funding through the Lewis Center to travel last summer to various intentional communities and art festivals in Europe in preparation for his three projects. Born and raised in the Netherlands, he revisited his roots, which include a new age commune, a ballet conservatory, a meditation practice, a house in the woods, and, as he describes, “many lovely people.” As his research, he connected with numerous individuals to talk about improvisation practices and practices of meaning-making. Princeton’s Class of ’55 Senior Thesis Fund allowed him to continue his research and related travels during the academic year.
The student cast for van der Horst’s show includes senior Abigail Kostolansky; juniors Sophie Blue, Runako Campbell, Sydney Maple, and Natalie Lu; sophomore Tori Edington; first-year student Emma Wang; and graduate student Siena Ang Dumas. Music is composed and performed by Department of Music graduate student Jenny Beck and senior Allison Spann. The set is created by senior and sculptor Bhavani Srinivas, also a student in the Program in Visual Arts. Lighting design and stage management for the production is by professional designer Tess James. Choreographer and Acting Director of the Program in Dance Rebecca Lazier and professional choreographer Miguel Guttierez are the project’s advisors.
Due to the immersive nature of the work, seating is limited and guests are encouraged to reserve free tickets in advance through University Ticketing at tickets.princeton.edu.
To learn more about this event, the Program in Dance, and the more than 100 other performances, exhibitions, readings, screenings, concerts and lectures presented each year at the Lewis Center, most of them free, visit arts.princeton.edu.