Grand Finale: Hofesh Shechter Company

Let me just say it: Grand Finale — performed Thursday evening by Hofesh Shechter Company at Brooklyn Academy of Music — was nothing short of epic. In a smoky world of deep shadows and imposing monoliths, ten dancers navigate a constantly shifting environment that seems at turns like a war zone or a celebration of life. The choreography was chaotic yet tightly synchronized, quickly moving from humor to tenderness to violence and back again. I felt fear, sorrow, and joy — often all at once — echoing the complexity of life in these turbulent times. Sometimes tribal and often transcendent, it was hard to separate the intricate movements from the electrifying music. It was not until intermission that I learned that much of the thrilling soundscape that accompanied this incredibly physical feature-length dance performance was composed by the UK-based Israeli choreographer himself — Hofesh Shechter. He even played percussion with a group of string musicians, live on stage. This news both blew me away and at the same time made perfect sense: writing, choreographing, painting, composing, speaking and even singing all have a rhythm. I am an artist who writes and sings in a choir — of course there are choreographers who compose and play instruments. I am always excited by the idea of artists crossing disciplines in their work, and it brings to mind the great creative synergies encouraged at the experimental Black Mountain College. It was a privilege to attend this performance. The dancers were top-notch, and their thunderous standing ovation was well-deserved. My creative well was once again filled, and I came home wanting to dance a painting or sing a novel. Instead, well, I composed this blog post!

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