Liz Gerring on "Horizon"

Where did you start with Horizon?  

The idea was to see how many different things could happen at once—but without descending into chaos. When I made this piece, the company was going through some changes and I was going through some personal things, so I was sort of looking towards the horizon. Not just seeking answers, but asking: Where am I going and where I am heading? There’s stillness and calmness out there in the future or unknown. I think that is what Horizon is to me.

I experience your work as being meditative. Does it feel that way to you?

When you are in the zone, there is a certain kind of meditation. There is an emptying out. And when you are watching something, you are letting it flow in and out of your visual screen, and not really making decisions about what you want to think about. I think that is where you want to be at, [viewing this type of work]. I think art can do that—take you away from the ten things going on in your mind.

What is it about dance that keeps you coming back to it?

This is something you have to love because otherwise it is too hard. I do find a lot of joy in movement. I don’t think I enjoy anything more than walking into a studio, with or without dancers, and being able to move. There is an inherent pleasure in watching bodies move. I am trying to give that [pleasure] to the audience. It’s the pure human spirit of just moving, and to me there is something really noble about it. [Movement], in and of itself, is a worthy cause. I think it really gives me hope.

What do you hope Horizon does?

Being an artist you can’t solve the world’s problems, but you can comment on them. There is so much pain and suffering in the world. [I’m interested in the] one moment where you can put that aside, and hope that there is still beauty in the world. Just the fact that these dancers have committed themselves to what they are doing, that is beautiful.

Conducted and excerpted by Laura Diffenderfer