While most choreographers using original scores readily pay lip service to the concept of collaboration, choreographer Nancy Havlik and composers Steve Antosca and Steve Hilmy have truly done justice to the idea in their poetry-based works. Havlik and Antosca’s I have spread my dreams beneath your feet, which draws upon a work by W.B. Yeats, and Havlik and Hilmy’s Us, which uses a text by Anne Sexton, debut in “Alternating Current,” a showcase of electronic music and dance at Dance Place.
Havlik says, “In both these collaborations, the beginning idea, the poetry, came from the composers. Steve Antosca had the idea of having a sound source onstage that the dancers would activate. Going along with their images to begin with, that was a big change. I was kind of buying into their vision; it’s a willingness to see what’s going to happen, being willing to let go.”
Antosca surprised himself by willingly deconstructing his score throughout the process. “I started out thinking this was going to be heavily music-based; it’s much more text-based,” he says. This interplay adds what he describes as an invigorating energy to both the process and the work itself.
Havlik, artistic director of the Dance Performance Group, first met Antosca several years ago through the new music concert series crossCurrent. Antosca, who teaches computer music and composition at the Levine School of Music, is a founding member of the 4-year-old series.
Hilmy, another crossCurrent founder and a professor of music at George Washington University, also finds collaboration to be a path of discovery. “The wonderful thing about working with Nancy,” he says, “was that it became more of a crystallization of the process, as opposed to a set structure I could color by number.” Us will match dancers with the live accompaniment of saxophonist Peter Fraize. “Every time it gets performed it’s going to be quite different, so that it’s living,” Hilmy says.
The performance will also feature Two Duets, which pairs Havlik’s choreography with scores by Antosca and Sid Dunn, and spirare, a collusion between Antosca and choreographer Pegeen Albig, director of the Radford University Dance Theatre.Chris Barbee
“Alternating Current” takes place Saturday, Oct. 25, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. at Dance Place.