Created by Finnish choreographer Tero Saarinen and performed by his Helsinki-based company, Borrowed Light takes its name from the light that comes through windows built in interior walls, a feature of traditional Shaker houses. While no actual Shaker dance or ritual is included, the work's black-and-white, 19th-century-style costumes are inspired by that community's customary plain dress. The accompaniment is traditional Shaker hymns, performed live by the Boston Camerata and its director, Joel Cohen, who have made a special project in recent years of collecting and recording the sect's music.
The first performance of Borrowed Light in the city was last night, as the centerpiece of BAM's annual Next Wave Festival gala. There are further performances tonight, tomorrow and Saturday (Nov. 10) at BAM's Howard Gilman Opera House. Information and tickets are available at www.bam.org.