Lucinda Childs: DANCE Barbican Centre, 18th-22nd October, Tel: 020 7638 8891
Lucinda Childs established herself as a dancer and choreographer in New York in the 1960s and 1970s. Her minimalist approach distills mundane gestures—walking, turning, waving—into trance-like patterns of repeated movement with infinitesimal alterations of rhythm. The dance equivalent of composer Steve Reich, Childs has been enormously influential on successive generations of abstract choreographers.
Since the late 1970s, Childs has specialised in large-scale productions. The first of these, DANCE, receives a rare revival at the Barbican this October. It features a group of 11 dancers in solos, duets and ensembles to a score by Philip Glass. The dancers on stage interact with projections of dancers performing the same moves. As the work progresses, the repetition dissolves as small adjustments build to a complex pattern.
Constructed of three 20-minute sequences, DANCE plays with the nature of perspective as the performers are sometimes dwarfed, sometimes distanced yet constantly immersed in the projected world, as if they were in the company of ghosts. The result is a fusion of dance, film and music that is both disorientating and beguiling.