In Jump, both participant and audience can become aware of their minds activity as they focus on a relatively singular series of events. An exercise in tracking ones attention: focus, breath, physical sensation, boredom, sound, excitement, physical discomfort, joy, sweat, exhaustion. It is an experiment in endurance and decay. The work is an attempt to track consciousness and the dance of the autonomic nervous system.
Jump from San Diego State University, 2014
Jump from Choreographers Evening, 2007
Not words of judgment, but action.
ie: My breath was taken away. I was stunned.
The brilliance of it is, of course, its simplicity.
Get a group unified in one simple action and watch.
This could be our world – simplicity.
We need to sleep, we need to eat.
But we fuck it up don’t we?
Words of power and misappropriate entitlement.
A sad word because it only means you did not watch closely.
And you probably never go hungry, do you?”
-Choreographers Evening Curator, Emily Johnson, Walker Art Center blog
“In regards to which, Ms Bieringa describes her piece in terms of a task, the body, and the context in which these appear. I knew this as a performer, and I know it was in the program for the audience, but what did the audience see? Mr Wirsing saw it as half of a comforting bookend; the O’Tooles saw it as boring: not dance, etc; Ms Johnson described as breathtaking and stunning, a model of simplicity for the world to emulate; etc. Not quite a Rorschach test, but still a range and little consensus. Why?
Doesn’t this simplicity also play/screw with audience expectations and perceptions? I’m sure there must have been people who were wondering when it would change, is there all there is — above all “what does it mean?” If there’s nothing more, than what is she after? I believe, regardless of Ms Bieringa’s intentions (see: slipperiness of intention/perception) that one effect this piece must have had was to radically shift the nature of the evening (if it hadn’t already been done by the “pre”show pieces). Isn’t it possible that this piece said something about what was at stake in the evening, in the work, in the community, and in the wider world? No more bullshit, maybe. These are bodies, this is movement, this is a stage, here is a curtain, lights, this is the breath, this is the sound feet make, this is Life happening and no matter how much you paid you can’t escape the body’s material physicality — in other words here is Life, dying in front of you. There is no escape no aesthetic: it is happening here and now and to you also. Isn’t dance at its best a matter of life and death? I don’t think this piece wasn’t a representation of an abstract beauty, a narrative, an emotion, or a coded series of movement. Consciousness: witnessing and taking part, recognizing just exactly what you are. Talk about refusing the consolation of correct forms.
– Charles Campbell
Walker Art Center blog
“To my surprise and delight, i am not sore today and was not really that tired last night even though i had been relatively immobile since thursday and had been in a car for four hours prior to the dress rehearsal. Besides the short period of hacking after each run that many of us were experiencing, my endurance revealed itself. It’s the first minute that really is shocking to the system, then i could find a meditation or “zone” where i could keep jumping for a long period of time. I wasn’t really able to cognate much else other than bodily sensations (my arches hurt a bit as the residual jumping ensued). i could feel the vertebrae in my spine in a new way as they compressed and suspended with each jump. i felt the bones of my feet meet and leave the floor. My organs needed stretching before and after they were jiggling for 7 minutes.
The first audience was relatively supportive (I could see out of my peripheral vision the audience fussing with their programs maybe to read again what this piece was about?) . The second audience was very playful/enthusiastic and actually laughed a lot – which at first i wasn’t expecting, but i guess that makes sense since we did look kind of ridiculous.
I have to admit there was apart of me that thought, well if i do have an asthma attack i’ll just collapse, roll off (i was on the end), and hopefully they would fade the lights and that would be it. Or one of our pants could slowly slough off to our feet. But, of course, the piece wasn’t intended to be comical and i’m glad for that – it is a marvelous study of the body in the raw, humanity, and our cultural need to experience the internal/external faces of ourselves in a simple form.”
– Mandy Herrick, performer
10 min version, San Diego State University
10 minute version, Can State San Marcos
10 minute version, Phildelphia Dance Projects SCUBA touring roster at the Conwell Theater, Temple University
Performers: Judy Williams, Meredith Rich, Nick Allia, Nyx Zierhut, Michele Tantoco, Sarah Gladwin Camp, Angie Chung
6 minute version, Walker Art Center as part of a a Dan Graham exhibition tour
Performers: Sinan Goknur, Melissa Birch, Mandy Herrick, Taja Will, Ellie McKinney, Becky Olson.
30 minute version, Space Space, Minneapolis
Performers: Jennifer Arave, Sinan Goknur, Melissa Birch, Mandy Herrick, Taja Will, Ellie McKinney, Otto Ramstad, Olive Bieringa, Michael and Daniel Wandzel.
7 minute version, Choreographers Evening, Walker Art Center, MinneapolisPerformers: Jennifer Arave, Mandy Herrick, Charles Campbell, Emmett Ramstad, Eric Ramstad, Bryce Beverlin II, Cara Kripner, Anna Shogren, Dawn Strom, Ellie, Elena Vetta, Patricia Good, Ellie McKinney, Tara LaPlante, Becky Olson, Ruth Glaeser, Kirsten Goldstein
25 minute version, Dartington College, UK
Body-Navigation Festival, St Petersburg, Russia