Continu. Photo courtesy of Alastair Muir
Sasha Waltz has a penchant for the spectacularly unnerving. In Gezeiten, at BAM in 2010, dancers navigated a flame-licked bunker at the end of the world. The tectonic earth tore itself apart underfoot, threatening to swallow the dancers whole.
In Körper, at BAM in 2007, concrete walls towered as in some dystopian underground airlock. Human beings became strange inertial things, writhing in naked piles, pressed against glass.
In her latest work at BAM, Continu—playing the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House December 4 and 5—the world is no calmer. A volatile hymn to the creative-destructive potentials of desire, it begins by “giv[ing] shape to an explosion,” in Waltz's words, an “original violence” that might be interpret as one and the same with conception itself.
And yet in place of the end-times pyrotechnics of Gezeiten and the concrete dystopia of Körper is something perhaps more unnerving: nothing at all, accompanied by the music of Edgard Varèse (among others).