1994 | 28 minutes | 8 dancers
Music by Philip Glass, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
Lighting Design by David Ferri
Costume Design by Lynne Steincamp
The imagery of Possession draws from the A.S. Byatt novel of the same name. It tells the story of two couples separated by a span of 100 years, whose lives begin to intertwine physically and emotionally in surprising ways. In creating the dance, Doug tried to build a non-linear narrative that allowed the viewer an emotional access into the characters. The opening section reveals images that become important over the course of the dance, but the depth of the work is felt in the two ensuing quartets (which over time have been affectionately labeled the Slow and Fast Quartets). Each explores the different facets of relationships as the emotional balance of the work keeps shifting between couples.
"Through lashing movement sprung from ordinary gesture, along with evocative lifts, holds and falls, ‘Possession’ evokes the temper of our time – equal parts isolation, anxiety, violence and anomie." NEW YORK MAGAZINE
Possession premiered on September 28, 1994, at the Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts in Richmond, VA. It was co-commissioned by Virginia Commonwealth University, the Bates Dance Festival in Lewiston, ME, and the NYU Tisch Summer Dance Residency Program. The creation of Possession was funded, in part, by the New England Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Carpenter Foundation.
photo by Erin Baiano