The Areas Between by Nina Haft & Firm | Assessment

Phrases by Maxine Flasher-Düzgünes

For many of our lives we’ve been conditioned to concern uncertainty – the unknowns the place we’ll reside and work, and who we’ll share it with…And positively these exterior unknowns might be probably the most scary – who will probably be our neighbour, the place the protests will probably be, and for what cause…

And lots of suppress concern out of the necessity to keep away from the “struggle, flight, or freeze” response. Nobody has been taught to maneuver by means of it, with it, after which ultimately out of it. I as soon as thought that concern indicated the hazard of a scenario, however I’ve come to grasp it actually solely implies that there’s a fork within the street, and that it’s the alternatives we make that may lead us out of hazard.   

In coming into the labyrinthine Berkeley workspace of Nina Haft & Company, many people encounter many forks within the street earlier than the efficiency begins, the hallways of the warehouse like miniature routes pre-gaming us for the uncertainty that lies forward.

Director Nina Haft introduces the efficiency as such – an improvisation – its bare-bones construction consisting of ten scores rotating among the many 5 dancers, however that over its two-week run, no efficiency could be the identical. She describes The Areas Between as a approach of “remaining open in a state of uncertainty” given the world’s state of chaos and the way even in small methods artists should proceed to maneuver collectively.

As her dancers invite the viewers to take part of their strolling rating and temporary introductory conversations with each other, I sense there is no such thing as a room for passivity on this area – watching is an act of being-with and doesn’t cease when the efficiency ends. It turns into a kind of relation between performer and watcher that may be a rating all by itself.

The primary dancer to take the area is Jennifer Twilley Jerum, her blond ponytail mixing into the ground like sand as she billows backwards, a wave of blue longing to reach at a spot the place motion is now not strained. There’s something inherently satisfying about her small dance, how its minimal starting someway magnetises all of the unused area…and makes it valuable.

Picture by: Hillary Goidell.

Taking her place within the second rating is Jesse Wiener, her hand gestures of safekeeping like some sleek conjuring of area and time. In every of her gazes upwards, I think about a rising lust for the moon, her clothes in blue shades just like the incoming darkness of night time. She is joined by Frances Sedayao, additionally in blue, who enters driving Jesse’s again like a seahorse, sculpting her fingers alongside the fragile crevices of her backbone. Right here I sense a freed stress, the beginning of a associate dance and the sharing of breath as if making and remaking this unresolved ocean of what’s going to come subsequent. They break contact after which run round us blowing out air by means of their trident palms – I catch a smile and bear in mind how we too dance on this expertise, we too dance as we witness our personal lives but to be revealed.

Most scores are carried out in silence, however scattered all through are the eerie vocals of Emma Tome, like deep-sea sound waves wallowing across the dancers. In Emma’s improvisation, she jogs my memory of how breath is fixed however comprises completely different ranges of depth – among the time as shallow as an inch however at different instances as fathomless as an underwater cave. The dancers in flip take into account various depths of decisions, leading to twists that fall or twists that stability, rolls that flatten or rolls that droop. Just like the I Ching, a Chinese language classical textual content used for decision-making, the dancers illustrate a e book of adjustments, every one among them pebbles free-flowing in a riptide till the second comes to depart or keep.

Dancer Rose Huey carries a selected weight that entrances me, her cerulean harem pants driving a ripple past its tiny existence. Just like the second of holding earlier than letting go, Rose extends time in her curvatures, comical but sleek. And I ponder what tragedy there needs to be in dropping one thing when it could actually inevitably develop into one thing else, one thing spherical and shiny and laughable at its edges. Every catch and fall between dancers is one among “i’ll nonetheless help you,” irrespective of how far down we go or what darkish place we land. At the moment, I collect that every thing occurs unanimously, out of the necessity to ship motion, but additionally to be let loose from its compulsory buildings, no regrets.

The breathy duet between Jesse and dancer Nico Ortiz Maimon appears to ask the query: what for those who have been my similar? what for those who spun my approach? Their shoulder-to-shoulder centre assembly place brings me again to the picture of the child on her father’s slippers stepping back and forth, begging: dance with me. A hug from behind. A handshake-turned-floor-spin. The message is straightforward sufficient – come take part earlier than the second shifts and we’ve all grown up and out of our dancing footwear.

Nico concludes the sequence of scores with a sea-level solo, Emma’s cries tunnelling deeper into her throat, echoing hen calls. Nico’s blue clothes flatten into the ground, a comfortable blanket to relaxation the physique because it continues its swim towards the floor. After which gone. Each area between, changed by the operating out of time and its so-called “finish.” 

I believe probably the most ephemeral a part of these dances was the preliminary perception they might go on ceaselessly, mere distillations of ongoing moments, maybe moments that proceed to this present day. What Nina has finished is delay them, for perhaps a couple of minutes longer, into the distinct crystals that form our lives.

To study extra about Nina’s work, go to or comply with @ninaotisha on Instagram.