The Austin Chronicle

'Site Dance'

New book recognizes Jacques' high-flying work

By Robert Faires, February 26, 2010, Arts

The Blue Lapis Light dance Requiem, performed on the concrete skeleton of what was once to be the Downtown headquarters for Intel, was a local sensation when it was mounted in 2006. Even Austinites who didn't follow dance, much less site-specific contemporary dance, paid attention to this work set on the most notorious relic of the city's dot-com belly flop. But when the run was done and the Intel shell finally pulled down, Austin's link to the show was broken. Requiem seemed lost to time.

Not anymore.

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.

Jacques will join with Site Dance co-editor Carolyn Pavlik for a reading and book signing this Saturday, Feb. 27, 5pm, at BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar. Pavlik is currently associate professor of dance at Western Michigan University but is no stranger to Austin, having lived here years ago, during which time she danced with and choreographed works for Sharir + Bustamante Danceworks, MS/Nerve Dance Company, and Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company.

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