Julien Previeux’s Patterns of Life uses dancing lightsabers to reveal the simplicity and power of gesture. This 15 minute video is a highly choreographed work whose opening section uses light to uncover the essence of human movement. Dancers wired with lights illuminate the darkness and reveal the simplicity of movement.
Part galactic warrior and part neon sign, the dancers fill the space with the linearity of their limbs punctuated by shining spheres that add curvature and depth to their geometry.
But this is just the beginning of Previeux’s exploration of the intimacy of gesture and its implication in a world shared with others. Through what looks like a strenuous eye exam, Previeux demonstrates that eye movements have the power to reveal our thought patterns and perhaps betray our inner world to those who observe us carefully enough.
Also compelling is Previeux’s fascination with walking patterns and our natural tendency to follow the same paths again and again. By mapping the route of a young Parisian woman, where she works, where she lives, and where she goes to school, one of Previeux’s dancers uses tape to create a three dimensional model. Once mapped, her movements, which were assumed to be open and carefree, seem controlled and confined.
Patterns of Life switches between time frames and points of view. In doing so it presents us with various choreographed vignettes. Narrator Crystal Shepherd Cross guides us tranquilly through the intellectual terrain with ease so we can enjoy the grace that is Previeux’s work.
Julien Previeux’s Patterns of Life can be seen at DiverseWorks, Houston, Texas, in “What Shall We Do Next” until 19 March, 2016.