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Renowned Jessica Lang Dance Comes to the Schaefer Center on Wednesday, Feb. 8

On Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m., the Schaefer Center for Performing Arts will be hosting a Jessica Lang Dance. 

Founded in 2011, New York-based Jessica Lang Dance is known for repertoire rich with stunning movement and dynamic visuals that transforms classical ballet into emotionally engaging contemporary work. Hailed “a master of visual composition” by Dance Magazine, the Bessie Award-winning Jessica Lang choreographs to enrich and inspire audiences by immersing them in the beauty of movement and music.

“Lang has a gift for conveying emotion with exquisite simplicity.” – Washington Post

“What makes Lang’s work groundbreaking is that she hasn’t just discovered some clever effects – she meticulously choreographs these on-screen interactions so expertly that we feel we are no longer watching film, or dance, or dance on film: it’s like a completely new medium.” – Dance Europe Magazine

“As a successful female choreographer with a focused and careful vision, Lang continues to push boundaries in dance, crafting subtle art that occasionally verges on “masterpiece.”” – Huffington Post

Jessica Lang is a choreographer and the artistic director of Jessica Lang Dance. Hailed as “a master of visual composition” by Dance Magazine, Lang seamlessly incorporates striking design elements and transforms classical ballet language into artfully crafted, emotionally engaging contemporary works. Since 1999, Lang has created more than 90 works on companies worldwide including Birmingham Royal Ballet, The National Ballet of Japan at the New National Theatre Tokyo, Joffrey Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Ballet San Jose, Richmond Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Ailey II, ABT II, Hubbard Street 2, and New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute, among many others. American Ballet Theatre has presented her work at the Metropolitan Opera House, and she has received commissions from the Dallas Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum for its Works and Process series. For opera, Lang received outstanding acclaim for her directorial debut and choreography of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater at the 2013 Glimmerglass Opera Festival.

Lang was a New York City Center Fellow for 2015 and the recipient of a prestigious 2014 Bessie Award. Her ballet Lyric Pieces, commissioned and performed by Birmingham Royal Ballet earned a nomination for a coveted 2013 Manchester Theatre Award in the UK. Lang has received numerous grants for her work on ballet companies from organizations including the Jerome Robbins Foundation, the NEA, and the Choo San Goh Foundation. Her receipt of a 2010 Joyce Theater Artist Residency supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation helped launch her own company, Jessica Lang Dance (JLD) in 2011.

Since its inception, JLD has made rapid success performing at renowned venues and festivals throughout the country including Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, New York City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Joyce Theater, the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Northrop Auditorium, and the Winspear Opera House, among others. The company’s performances have been named among the best dance events of the year by major publications in Dallas, Chicago and Boston.

Lang’s work has also been performed by numerous educational institutions including The Juilliard School, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, The Ailey/Fordham BFA Program, Marymount Manhattan College, SUNY Purchase College, Southern Methodist University, Princeton University, University of Richmond, and Point Park University, among others. She is a teaching artist for American Ballet Theatre’s Make A Ballet program and was a founding faculty member of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (JKO) School. With her strong belief in the importance of education, Lang recently developed her own methodology called LANGuage, a unique creative curriculum that teaches individuals from all populations to cultivate the habit of creative thinking through exercise.

Lang’s upcoming commissions include a world premiere on Pacific Northwest Ballet and choreography for San Francisco Opera’s production of Aida, directed by Francesca Zambello. Lang’s work will also be performed by Orlando Ballet, the National Ballet of Japan, Cincinnati Ballet and Ballet West during the 2016/17 season.

Lang, a graduate of The Juilliard School under the direction of Benjamin Harkarvy, is a former member of Twyla Tharp’s company, THARP!

This performance is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Tickets range from $10 for students, $20 for faculty and $25 for the general public. You can purchase them online or by calling the Schaefer Center at 828-262-4046.

“Thousand Yard Stare” by Jessica Lang Dance Co. Photo credit: © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2015
Photo credit: Takao Komaru