BWW Reviews: Blue Lapis Light's Encore Engagement of HEAVEN-EARTH-ONE is Heavenly
It's been said that good news is worth repeating. I guess that adage can be modified for the arts as well. A masterpiece is worth repeating, and thankfully Blue Lapis Light has decided to reprise their stunning, site specific dance piece Heaven-Earth-One a mere seven months after its last production. When I originally saw Heaven-Earth-One back in September, I was awed by the beauty of the site specific dance piece but a bit shocked and puzzled by the relatively sparse audience. This time around, the show is just as beautiful and haunting, and it's nice to see that the show is now reaching a much larger audience.
All of the elements I loved about the show back in September are back in full force. The performers use every inch of The Long Center's outdoor courtyard as their performance space. Dancers appear as if by magic on the 30 foot high ring that surrounds the courtyard. Another dancer ziplines above the audience. More dancers, with the help of some rigging and harnesses, dance on the sides of the columns and pillars that decorate the outer rim of the courtyard. Others suspend themselves from silks hung 30 feet above the ground. The technical achievements of the piece are incredible and heart-stopping.
The fearlessness of these performers must be commended. Not only do they carry out the dangerous, complex choreography (credited to the entire Blue Lapis Light company), but they make it look graceful, elegant, and majestic. One particular highlight that is both dangerous and beautiful is a pas de deux between silk dancers Jason Brown and Nicole Whiteside. They perform some tricks that are absolutely incredible to watch, and the connection, trust, and tenderness between them is amazing. While Brown and Whiteside may get one of the most memorable moments, the entire company of dancers is outstanding. Though the complexity of the work is always apparent, so too is the range of emotions conveyed by the cast. They show us love, longing, hope, and a wealth of other universal feelings.
Jason Amato's lighting design is also of note. Amato is a true artist, and it's as if he's painting with light as he brings color and warmth to the beautiful but monochromatic Long Center courtyard. One sequence in which dancers performing on the sides of columns are lit from below so their shadows appear to be dancing above them is absolutely stunning.
It's fantastic to revisit a show as unique and mesmerizing as Heaven-Earth-One. Like the heavens and the earth, this is a piece of beauty that must be explored.
Running time: 1 hour with no intermission
HEAVEN-EARTH-ONE, produced by Blue Lapis Light, plays the Long Center for the Performing Arts now through Sunday, May 26th. Performances are Tuesday thru Sunday at 9pm. Tickets are $18-$58. For tickets and information, please visit www.bluelapislight.org.
To read my original review of Heaven-Earth-One, please click here.