“We find ourselves in a time of transition and unpredictable change,” says GWDT Executive Artistic Director David Shimotakahara. Shimotakahara’s world-premiere work, titled “Against Night,” for GroundWorks’ 2017 Spring Series explores change, transitions and connectivity and how we traverse these elements.

These themes were a starting point in the creative process, he says.  “For some reason I also started thinking about images of light and its properties and textures and its changeability over time. Those light related ideas combined became metaphors for how we experience and navigate change.”

“Against Night” has four sections. Shimotakahara see the two middle sections book ended by two abstract responses to extraordinary pieces of music by American composers David Lang and Steve Reich. The middle sections have a more human context with music by Jennifer Higdon and Nico Muhy. “For me, these extraordinary compositions conjure the energy and qualities of light,” says Shimotakahara.

The piece will also explore the dichotomy between light and dark. Its contrast will be a strong visual element but it will also serve as a metaphor for polarities – life and death, being on the edge of something, on the brink. Teetering on an existential threshold.

“I feel that we are being forced into a place of extremes,” he says. “Each of us, as individuals are going to have to draw our own lines and face fundamental questions about morality, decency, humility, humanity. We are being pushed to make choices.  It seems to me that remaining neutral is not an option. Ultimately I think of light as an undeniable force of life, with the power to reveal and define, and as with all living things, what we are inextricably drawn toward.”

[Photo: Google Images]