On These Walls, Dance by 'Chance'

By Lisa Traiger
Special to The Washington Post
Friday, September 14, 2007

Washington choreographer Jane Jerardi relishes the unexpected, the serendipitous finds that change the course of a day, maybe even a lifetime.

One small, out-of-the-blue moment in "Chance," Jerardi's new video-art project, occurs when dancer Ginger Wagg, rolling on the grass, comes across an iced-tea spoon. She extracts it from a tangle of roots and soil, a sense of wonder pervading her discovery. On Saturday evening, Jerardi hopes to share that sense of discovery with the public: "Chance" will be projected on the north side of Viridian restaurant at 14th and P streets NW. On Sept. 28, "Chance" will be shown on the front facade of the Dance Institute of Washington in Mount Pleasant, and on Sept. 29 in a space next door to Mexicali Blues restaurant in Clarendon.

"I'm interested in bringing dance into a different environment," says Jerardi, 31. This spring and summer, video artists Michael Wichita and Fernando Ortega filmed Jerardi's improvised and choreographed sequences at Glen Echo Park, on park benches throughout her Adams Morgan neighborhood and at the sculptural waterfall outside the Bethesda Metro station.

Jerardi says she hopes to reach new audiences with the piece, which was edited into a 20-minute soundless video. What better way than to project it onto buildings with street noise as accompaniment?

" 'Chance,' " Jerardi says, "is about space and the space we're inhabiting. We worked a lot with improvisation and the idea of synchronicity."

With dancers Brian Buck and Wagg, she sought stories of chance meetings, unanticipated circumstances and just being in the right place at the right time to inspire their movement choices for the video, which plays in a continuous loop.

"You don't see this type of thing much in D.C.," Jerardi says. "I want people to experience the possibility of culture and art in a different way."

CHANCE VIDEO DANCE Saturday from 8 to 10, north side of Viridian, 1515 14th St. NW; Sept. 28 from 8 to 9:30, Dance Institute of Washington entrance, 3400 14th St. NW; Sept. 29 from 8 to 9:30, at 2925 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, next door to Mexicali Blues.http://www.chancedance.org.

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