What happens when a landmark jazz record inspires a choreographer to create a work, but one in which the music does not appear? We find out this week when Israeli choreographer Emanuel Gat presents his latest creation, Brilliant Corners, at the American Dance Festival.
The title is taken from Thelonious Monk's 1957 sessions with Max Roach, Sonny Rollins and Clark Terry, a recording that has been placed in the Grammy Hall of Fame and the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress. Though Monk's music does not appear in Brilliant Corners, "many aspects of his music are very much present," Gat notes in playbill notes to the piece. "I have found in this music endless inspiration for dance making."
After the work premiered last week at the Venice Biennial, critic Roger Salas wrote in Madrid's El Pais that "Brilliant Corners is a revealing break in the personal and aesthetic restlessness of this artist. If in his previous works there were an express subjugation to the cyclical degree of phrases, here Gat explores such rhythmic tyranny, in superimposed layers that check the process and leave it in the open."—Byron Woods