project image
Jacques Vidal

first performed on February 09, 2020
La KAJE at 9 Herkimer Place
performed once in 2020


Kate Levant, Dmitri Hertz

New York


We met in the summer of 2018 at the invitation and introduction of La Kaje, who sensed a synchronicity in our practices. Eve is a musician who performs with electronics, woodwinds, and voice. Lydia is a performer and writer within the expanding field of dance. Both of us are versed in many forms of collaboration. The idea was a sunset performance but was abruptly halted due to an obstruction: a newly constructed fence. One year later, the alternate location 9 Herkimer Place was proposed, and our collaboration was revived.

In the large empty room, we practiced in tandem for many months. We didn’t control the direction, allowing our relationship, the space, and time frame to determine the shape of the piece. As a musician and a dancer with little experience in each other’s fields, establishing a vocabulary to describe the character of each other’s work was a challenge. We discovered a shared interest in text prompts and informal scores, and used these to establish a shared language, creating systems where we could collaborate both actively and at a distance.

Kate Levant and Dmitri Hertz created an installation and setting for the performance, installing sculptures, seating, and staging. The audience entered into a sound score, with no directions for where or when to sit. The audience was a mix of art, music, and dance viewers. We wanted to allow for the varying interpretation each of these viewers has for “the show starts at four.” At 4:30 pm, Lydia lay on the center of the floor and read a text taped to the ceiling. The text was an entry into her thinking about the role of the dancer, the practice of practicing practice, and the power of embodied empathy that is activated by a dancer in collaborations.

Eight of our text scores served as the basis for our performance: some were formal, such as “a line between two points,” whereas some described a character, such as “the parasite.” We took on different prompts simultaneously while seeking the venn diagram between us. Performed as two long movements, each section took cues from a set of adjectives that defined:

Approaches to space (interior/exterior)

Trajectory (exploratory/probing)

Time (open/locked)

While we followed cues from these adjectives, the sound moved from extended instrumental improvisations to ever more structured and rhythmic pop.

Due to numerous skylights in the space, we were able to retain the original plan of having a sunset performance; after sunset, a sculptural disco ball by Levant illuminated the space.