Human Landscape Dance's work is about relationships. We make dances that explore ways that people connect, disconnect, make nice, be cruel, make love, or make space for themselves. We occasionally use literal movement to express our themes, a kiss, a push, but, usually, we use the dynamic energy of interaction to create an abstract representation. In The Philadelphia/Washington DC Exchange, we will premiere two dances about relationships.

Alexander Short and Amanda Abrams in Keeping Secrets

Closet Dances is a series of 4 vignettes that depict people stuck within the narrow confines of a walk-in closet. These cramped quarters reflect the intensity of relationships between people who get in each other's way. The lovers in "Keeping Secrets" are not honest with each other. They maneuver upon, under, inside one another, but manage to look each other in the face only once. The lovers in "Hooked" both attract and repel one another. They catch upon one another with claw-like hands. They alternately pull together and push away.

January Night depicts housemates snowbound by a blizzard. They shift restlessly, bounce off the walls, find themselves unable to sleep. Amanda Abrams and Alex Short play a couple who struggle to pass the time. At first, he sleeps and she lies awake, using him as a blanket. When he wakes up, they cuddle together, her elbow digging against his shoulder. He wraps her up close, then she draws her face along his chest. They make love in the still night until she falls asleep, leaving Alex wide awake.

Human Landscape Dance will premiere both Closet Dances and January Night in ThePhiladelphia/Washington DC Exchange at the Painted Bride Art Center, Saturday May 29 at 7:30pm and Sunday May 30 at 3pm. The concert is the first part of an artistic exchange with Philadelphia legend Anne-Marie Mulgrew and Dancers Co, who will premiere Burn and restage The Big Dance.

Human Landscape Dance is a contemporary dance company based in Washington DC. Our work explores original movement in the context of human situations. We show the transformation of relationships over time through the medium of touch. Founded in 2006, Human Landscape Dance has since performed in cities along the east coast of the US and in London UK. We perform in theaters and in public spaces, such as parks, galleries, stairwells, and fountains.


Malcolm Shute
Artistic Director