Choreographers Weslie Ching, Jessica Kondrath, and Robin Bisio’s Semiosis dazzled a packed audience with an impressive display of scientific thought and movement Saturday, October 1, at Center Stage Theater.
Ching pushed the boundaries of modern dance to tackle the relationship between physics and metaphysical cosmology. Inspired by concepts including string theory, the law of conservation of mass, and electromagnetic theory, Ching’s three dynamic and visually appealing pieces operated on an intellectual level far above bodily expression.
Kondrath’s two works — both inspired by musician Brian Eno’s oblique strategy of revisiting old ideas to create something new — evoked wonderment, limitation, and liberation. Dancer Kristin Deiss gave a standout performance in “In total darkness, or in a very large room, very quietly.” Black lights arranged in an octagon enhanced the appearance of her muscles, making it seem as if she defied gravity as she floated across the stage.
Bisio’s multimedia offerings included two Ethan Turpin films and live music by Alixandra Macmillan-Fiedel and Chris Nava, which steered the program toward pure aesthetic rather than engaging the intellect, causing a slight dissonance in the evening’s program.
Overall, the evening of works did achieve its title goal of semiosis in that it established relationships between signs, which, in turn, were left for the audience to interpret.