After seven years of performances, Jessica Lang Dance is coming to an end. The dance company’s final season includes a stop at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts Cobb Great Hall on Jan. 24. This striking visual performance presented by the dance company made us want to reach out to creator and artistic director Jessica Lang to find out more.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and when did you realize dance was going to be such a passion for you
I started dancing when I was 3, but it wasn’t until I was an early teenager, like 13-14, that I realized this was the path I wanted to set my whole life on. I ended up studying in New York and then ended up at the Julliard School, and now I have this premier history career.
And you are one of the most celebrated choreographers of your generation, which must seem and feel surreal to you. Tell us a little bit about some of the productions you’ve been involved in throughout the world.
I just premiered my 102ndballet in my 19-, 20-year history of being a choreographer, so there is a lot to talk about. There have been so many wonderful commissions that I’ve had from various companies like American Ballet Theatre and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. … I’ve also been very fortunate to work in the opera and I had a couple opportunities to create choreography for the production ‘Aida’ both at San Francisco Opera and Washington National Opera.
Tell us about the performance that Jessica Lang Dance is going to have at Wharton Center for Performing Arts. Tell our readers why they’ll want to see this show.
Because it is beautiful. It is extraordinary diverse experience so there is something for everyone. There is different quality of movement and different scenes that can reach a diverse group of people. I am always focused on the audience and knowing that not everyone is the same but trying to find universal topics of things that might speak to a larger population of people. … It is something of a human connection between music and visual and creating a dynamic environment with other people who are proficient in movement.
It’s more than just contemporary ballet, right?
It is. I would almost consider it a visual art, the making of dance. It is about the total collaborative process even if the music isn’t someone who I am working with directly. I really consider every aspect of creating a dance equal to the dance itself, the physical act of moving. There is a real attention to detail in every work.
You have a Michigan connection. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
I do. My college roommate and best friend, her father is a former head of the school of music (at Michigan State University). He was the maestro, the conductor, and he just recently retired. I really enjoyed coming to East Lansing as a family friend up there, and throughout my whole adult life it’s nice to return there to Michigan State when I’ve accompanied her a couple times.
What is next for you?
I’ll still keep creating, but it just won’t be in this entity and with these dancers. Much like when you look at Twyla Tharp’s career. She didn’t just disappear if she halted her dance company; she just became a different kind of focus. That is what I am planning to do.
For more information on the show or for tickets, visit whartoncenter.com.
Jessica Lang Dance ticket giveaway official rules and information:
CAWLM is giving away two pairs of tickets to Jessica Lang Dance Jan. 24 performance at Wharton Center
To enter, simply comment on the associated Facebook post, no purchase necessary
Winner must be 18 and over, and able to pick up tickets from M3 Group Offices in Lansing
Giveaway runs from Jan 7, 2019 to noon Jan 11, 2019
Winner(s) will be randomly drawn
CAWLM reserves the right to change details of the promotion at any time
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Facebook