Dancer Jacquelyn Elder. Photo by Keira Heu-Jwyn Chang.

Dark Lark, 2013

Dark Lark explores erotic fantasy as a portal toward identity - the act of constructing self and self-in-relationship. Using distinct imagery around power and fantasy, Dark Lark seeks to honor erotic imagination as a metaphor for creativity with its potential for darkness and light, and to acknowledge that fantasies, our most interior and vividly brilliant acts of imagination, can unlock us toward vulnerability and feeling. Paralleling the artist's pursuit, the art of eroticism is a realm that all humans fundamentally share.

The title Dark Lark plays with the classical relevance of the lark itself - a songbird revered for its endlessly creative array of mating tunes - and also riffs on the notion of going "on a lark" - doing something outrageous purely for pleasure. Dark Lark offers potent images celebrating the imaginary self, the idealized or subterranean self, while asking questions about interiority and exteriority as it relates to authenticity. Drawing on powerful aesthetic elements from visual artist Kurt Perschke and lighting designer Brian Jones, Dark Lark conjures a world of butterflies, weapons, fans, and swirling capes with beautifully-imagined costumes designed by Sarah Cubbage and a richly evocative score composed and performed live by electro-acoustic cellist Christopher Lancaster.

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Choreography: Kate Weare
Original Score: Christopher Lancaster
Costume Design: Sarah Cubbage
Stage Design: Kurt Perschke
Lighting Design: Brian Jones (BAM Fisher Design), Mike Faba (Touring Design):
Originating Dancers: Jacquelyn Elder, Leslie Kraus, Douglas Gillespie, Luke Murphy, and T.J. Spaur


Dark Lark is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by Bates Dance Festival in partnership with Brooklyn Academy of Music, Florida Dance Association, Juniata College and NPN. The Creation Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). Dark Lark has been made possible with support from New Music USA's 2013 Live Music For Dance Program, The New York Community Trust and New York Foundation for the Arts BUILD Program.

Dancer Jacquelyn Elder. Photo by Keira Heu-Jwyn Chang.