Yale Repertory kicked off its 31st season, Oct. 23, 1997, with performances of Geography, an avant-garde dance/multi-media piece conceived by choreographer Ralph Lemon. The work was written for nine male dancers, actors, and percussionists of African descent.
Now Lemon is working on part two of his intended trilogy, titled "Asia." The piece will look at Asian spirituality through the eyes of an American black man who's also a Buddhist. Lemon went to India in February to work with performers from Taiwan, India, China and Japan. (He'll visit the latter two countries this fall.)
Says Lemon, who holds associate artist status at Yale Rep, "I will be able to apply what I have learned through the process of creating Part 1 (Africa) with an extraordinary group of collaborators."
Lemon's collaborators on the first part of Geography included composers Francisco Lopez of Spain and Paul D. Miller (a DJ who is also known as "Spooky, That Subliminal Kid"). Tracie Morris, who writes Nuyorican performance poetry, shaped the text for Geography from Lemon's outline. Set design was by installation artist Nari Ward.
No production date is yet set for Asia, though Lemon expects his creative team to be in place by the fall. In the meantime, Yale Rep theatregoers can catch Seamus Heaney's The Cure at Troy, Mar. 26-Apr. 18; and the world premiere of C.B. Coleman's Petersburg, based on the Andrei Bely novel, Apr. 30-May 23.
For information on shows at Yale Rep, 222 York St. In New Haven, CT, call (203) 432-1234.
-- By David Lefkowitz