Sidereal time—the time of stars—is the way that astronomers fix their telescopes on remote constellations from night to night, since the earth spins them away each day. Celestial geometrics align our bodies with the complex grids of galaxies, and fireflies remind us that we can almost cup the stars in our hands.
In this piece, Alonzo King explores the orientation of our bodies to light. A ground-breaking collaboration with artist Jim Campbell, Constellation is both luminous and lucid, encompassing and intimate. When the dancers glimmer into view, they move the way that ideas move through the mind: synaptically, in pulses and flashes. King’s duets seem to show that the dancers can turn on any axis, or arc upwards from any clasp. Over the course of the piece, strings of lights drape their bodies, and lighted globes are tucked into their hands or the crooks of their knees.
The score meshes Baroque music, sung by the regal Israeli mezzo-soprano Maya Layhani, with contemporary music by Leslie Stuck, Somei Satoh and Benjamin Juodvalkis; sounds of winds whirring on white ice and the echoes of birds wheeling in the air sweep through the theater. Sleek gossamer costumes by Robert Rosenwasser and subtle, expansive lighting design by Axel Morgenthaler— hailed as “gorgeous” by the San Francisco Chronicle—set off the beauty and precision of the dancers. And the dancers, moved by Alonzo King’s idea that dancing is a form of communion that takes us beyond ourselves, glide into the light.