Jessica Lang artfully crafts contemporary ballet works at the Norton Center Saturday

Published 12:26 pm Thursday, January 18, 2018

Press release
New York-basedJessica Lang Dance will make its Norton Center debut on Saturday,Jan. 20 with a repertoire rich in stunning movement, compelling visuals and beautiful cinematic composition that will leave you breathless.
In addition to its signature piece, “The Calling,” which is performed by a solo dancer, the company will also be performing “Thousand Yard Stare” a work embodying the incredible pride, honor, and searing loss experienced by military veterans, set to emotive Beethoven music.
In 2016, Lang and dancer-turn-“Project Runway” Season 12 finalist Bradon McDonald worked with military veterans to create sketches of their thoughts while listening to a recording of Beethoven’s “String Quartet No. 15, Op 132 3rd Movement: Adagio.” Their artwork was printed on the backs of the dancers’ costumes.
As Lang explains, “each dancer carries the veteran’s story and inner thoughts on stage every night so that we stay authentic to what we are representing.” Other popular works from the company’s repertoire that will be performed include Mendelssohn/Incomplete, Among the Stars and Lines Cubed.
Lang has created more than 90 works for companies worldwide. She is a recipient of a prestigious 2014 Bessie Award and 2017 Arison Award, has created more than 95 works on companies worldwide since 1999 including American Ballet Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet (2013 Manchester Theatre Award nominee), the National Ballet of Japan and Joffrey Ballet, among many others. Additional commissions include new works for the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony Orchestra, The Harris Theater and the Chicago Architecture Biennial in collaboration with architect Steven Holl, the Dallas Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum for itsWorks and Processseries.
“Since the time Ms. Lang accepted our offer to perform at the Norton Center, her career has really sky-rocketed,” exclaimed Norton Center executive director, Steve Hoffman.  “Jessica has been invited by the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Alvin Ailey and even the San Francisco Opera to create new dance works.  And that is just within the United States.  We are truly fortunate to have this new dance superstar bring her works to central Kentucky in all of their lush beauty, vibrancy and accessible form.”
Beyond her expansive body of work, Lang is also part of the founding faculty of American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School and a teaching artist for theMake-a-Ballet program.
While in residence at the Norton Center, the company will also participate in a number of community engagement activities, to include:
  • • A sign-language interpreted student matinee for area schools with post-performance Q&A 10 a.m. Jan. 19 . Tickets are $8 per student and still available by calling the Norton Center Box office.
  • • A workshop with company members and students at the Kentucky School for the Deaf.
  • • A contemporary dance masterclass with company members for intermediate/advanced dance students. This event is open to the public; reserve a spot by emailing The cost is $30 for the class and includes a ticket to the performance.
  • • A pre-performance discussion with artists and Centre faculty focused on the work “Thousand Yard Stare” as it pertains to the experience of veterans and the integration of art and war. The event will be 7 p.m. Jan. 20 in the Norton Center lobby and is free and open to he public.
Jessica Lang Dance will be performing at Centre College’s Norton Center for the Arts 8 p.m. Jan. 20.  Tickets, priced at $27, $39, and $49, are available at www.NortonCenter.comor by calling the box office at (859) 236-4692.

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