The North Door
"...It was to raise awareness about this very issue, the issue of homelessness, that prompted Sally Jacques in December of 1988 to create a performance event entitled 64 Beds. The event involved an all-night vigil in the Mexic-Arte Museum, incorporating 64 beds created by 64 visual artists; 64 "Sleepers" -- individuals from the community, some of them homeless persons -- each of whom was assigned to one of these beds; and 24 artists, who performed for the Sleepers and led them in rituals associated with bedtime and rest..."
"...Heaven knows it consumes Sally Jacques. She is forever giving herself over to the consideration of bodies in space, how human figures fit into specific environments and relate to them, how their placement affects the environments and the environment affects them..."
"...When Sally Jacques was a teenage free spirit hitching around the Catalan region of Spain, she was overwhelmed by the morphic, voluptuous architecture of Antoni Gaudí. "Where – ? How – ? You know, where – where did this come from?" At Christmas, she went with a friend to services at Església de Santa Maria in Cadaqués, the vibrant figures of its towering baroque altarpiece seemed to gesture toward her: "I remember closing my eyes and listening to the music, and opening them and just starting at this living, breathing altar..."
"...Sally Jacques steps off the elevator on the ninth floor of the J.J. Pickle Federal Building and leads the way to a suite that was a local base of operations for Lyndon Johnson during his presidency..."
"...But this is Artistic Director Sally Jacques returning to her roots, revisiting a kind of work she made in the years before her current company was founded and her dancers began ascending into the heavens in ever more spectacular ways. In those works, the performers never achieve flight; they may climb above the earth, but they're not able to break its bonds, and our sense of them as forever earthbound gives every grasp of a bar and pull of a body upward, every lean into the open air, every stretch of an arm into the sky a poignance born of vulnerability..."
"...A new book, Site Dance: Choreographers and the Lure of Alternative Spaces, devotes an entire chapter to Requiem, with Blue Lapis Light Artistic Director Sally Jacques describing its creation and performance in a way that brings this outstanding work back to life and gives those who saw it a new appreciation for the efforts undertaken in its production. But the book does more than preserve this one dance in print; it sets it alongside a baker's dozen of site-specific dances from all across the country and, through an interview with Jacques that discusses her 20 years of work in Austin, creates a context for her as a dancemaker of national consequence...."
"...Nicole Whiteside and Laura Cannon are not, in fact, winged messengers from on high, but for the past few years, they've gotten so good at aerial dance work that they can pass for angels. As leading dance artists for Blue Lapis Light, the company founded by site-specific choreographer Sally Jacques, Whiteside and Cannon have raced sideways across the faces of buildings, launched themselves off ledges and glided artfully through the evening sky, and hovered and twirled four stories, 10 stories, 12 stories above the ground, to the amazement of audiences gathered below..."
"...Connelly and Armstrong are present in all corners of the community and not merely present but engaged. And Austin is richer for it.Sally Jacques..."
"...During that time, these men have taken us into new realms regarding site-specific performance, video and dance, performance in cyberspace, and computerized choreography. Our city has been blessed with many pioneering modern dance artists Deborah Hay, Sally Jacques, Heloise Gold, Diana Prechter, Andrea Ariel, Darla Johnson and Andrew Long, Ellen Bartel, to name a few but none who have done so much for so long at the head of one company as Sharir and Bustamante..."
"...But not for Sally Jacques. When the queen of site-specific dance in Austin was told that she could use the building for her latest production, she leapt at the opportunity..."
"...By the time we see this in Where Nothing Falls II, Sally Jacques' rich extension of her site-specific dance from 2003, we've witnessed a number of individuals walk and run to and fro between their own shadows on a wall and some unseen force that appears to startle them, until finally all fall and lie still on the hard floor; four figures attached to ropes leave a catwalk high in the air and float to earth, their sideways bodies curled like fetuses; angelic figures on roller skates glide from a dark void toward us, and as they come kneeling and scooping their hands, as if through water, to offer us its cooling relief, two figures, their hands gripping long, elastic bands, launch themselves into the air, their feet leaving the earth, their bodies swinging, soaring, sailing through space we've seen this and much more, even a quartet of celestial skateboarders, rolling thunderously up wooden ramps and down to surf the concrete, winding through the forest of tall, concrete pillars and one another's paths. In short, we've seen a breathtaking parade of bodies in motion, human beings confronting loss, separateness, and their place in the wide, wide world through the massive expanses of a warehouse in the Domain...."
"...Sally Jacques calls them "youth in transition," referring to the young people with whom she and the teachers from her Blue Lapis Light aerial dance company have been collaborating for the past 18 weeks. They are youth who need a range of services and support and who may be new parents, unemployed, or even homeless..."
"...Whispers of Heaven feels as if it comes from the latter camp. The latest site-specific dance by Sally Jacques may be familiar in that its setting is a large industrial warehouse; its dancers walk across walls, move through space far above the floor, and otherwise defy gravity as they perform; and the imagery and sounds that surround them come from longtime collaborators of Jacques': lighting designer Jason Amato, vocalist Tina Marsh, cellist Terry Muir, and sound designer William Meadows..."
"...For an hour and a half, Sally Jacques and her dancers showed us why: Because there is so much aching beauty to express that words cannot touch and because dance transforms. In the profoundly beautiful world Jacques created for Blue Pearl, the third installment of her scaffold trilogy, nothing else mattered except shared epiphany..."
"...where nothing falls, Sally Jacques Productions..."
"...3. The Well Inside (Sally Jacques Productions): Sally Jacques ended her trilogy of dances on scaffolds with more breathtaking acrobatics and some unexpected intimacy..."
"...Maybe this story began in the early Eighties in Spain, when Sally Jacques attended Christmas Eve mass at the Església de Santa Maria in Cadaqués and saw, in its ornate sculptural altarpiece, angels dancing around on columns and perched atop arches, and human figures gesturing benevolently down at the people in the pews...."
"...Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Blue Lapis Light's dancers, dangling off a 20-story hotel, soaring over the Long Center City Terrace, gliding through Seaholm Power Plant's vast interior. This aerial dance troupe, founded in 2005, grew out of choreographer Sally Jacques' earlier efforts to defy gravity in a series of works that had committed, courageous dancers lean off scaffolds, climb silks, and hang suspended from wires in hangars, warehouses, and other urban environments..."
"...Bats flew, water lapped, and as a special surprise, a gorgeous lunar eclipse had the audience spellbound. It was as if the environment conspired with Artistic Director Sally Jacques to create an enchanted space for the audience..."
"...Most of us entering an empty power plant that hasn't generated any electricity in almost 20 years would see an industrial husk, a monstrous void entombed in concrete. Sally Jacques entered one and saw a cathedral, and the site-specific choreographer spent six months working to convince developers and engineers and city officials that it existed..."