Leaving Home

“Leaving Home” takes place on grass, this vestige of nature in the city. The dancers, encircled by a fabric egg, evoke images of birth on the ripe green leaves. They move blindly at first, tracing the edges of their enclosure and taking stock of each other.  As they wrestle with how or if to leave, you are encouraged to reflect on your own experience of home and your own attitudes toward change.

Human Landscape Dance, Leaving Home, Washington DC

By setting their work in public spaces – against a wall, along a stairwell, in a fountain – Human Landscape Dance reveals the hidden beauty of those places we pass every day. The group, correspondingly, uses the vibrance of their environment to underscore the passion of their performance.

Human Landscape Dance has distinguished itself by juxtaposing urban and natural iconography. The group’s work tests the boundaries with which we surround ourselves. In “Leaving Home,” 2007, they stage a metaphoric birth in a city park. The dance asks, which natural processes do we yet allow ourselves—or are we forced—to experience? 

Is there anything beyond sex, giving birth, and death from which we are blocking ourselves?

Human Landscape Dance, Leaving Home, Washington DC

The dance also questions the meaning of home. Set on grass, it recalls the sense of familiarity and kinship we experience in the woods. If we feel “at home” in nature, why do we erect walls around ourselves? The dancers, ringed by a cloth barrier, experience varying degrees of difficulty in crossing this low wall. They express our sometimes paradoxical attitude toward nature.