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Creating Bright Land with the Crooked Jades was many things: a headlong dive into trust, a wild, undulating adventure onstage, and perhaps my company’s most soul-stirring collaborative experience to date. The dances of Bright Land emerged as a direct and emotional response to the artistry of The Crooked Jades. And what artistry!
The Jades' music can be heartfelt and delicate, wrenching and visceral, wicked and tender, often in the very same instant. The band works its particular magic in the lineage of old time music in a way that feels both contemporary and authentic - a stunning feat in itself. Throughout the process, it was really important to me that we were having a potent conversation with this old time tradition and that the dances were holding their own against the power and intensity of this music. The Jades became our guides into the richness of that tradition and it's made me into a devoted voyeur of American history through the vivid portal of their music.
My dancers and I got know, trust, and just adore The Crooked Jades as we spent several weeks in the studio with them, dipping deeply into each others’ artistic cultures by playing, watching, dancing, listening, talking, and, most crucially, revealing our honest feelings - sometimes charged, sometimes hilarious, often profoundly touching - about each other.
We're tremendously proud to be able to continue to share the fruit of this collaboration with you in an expanded recording of the Bright Land Score.
...the 20 songs, the majority of which are traditional, are invested with an energy and vigour that makes the sensibility sound entirely contemporary. They somehow sound startlingly strange and yet oddly familiar at the same time, wild and untamed and yet skillfully arranged
~ Nigel Williamson, Songlines
VIDEO: Choreographer, Kate Weare on the Making of Bright Land
“In their harmonies and scenarios, the Jades’ old-time tunes are like the shadow of prison bars cast at noon – light and dark in equal measure”
~ Appollinaire Scherr, Financial Times
VIDEO: Bright Land highlights
"Kazor sings in a strong, lazy voice; Berman’s higher, twangy one is sharp enough to cut heartstrings. "Ain’t no grave gonna hold my body down” go the words. Watching the inhabitants of this bright here-and-now land that Weare and her superb collaborators have made, you can believe it. “
~ Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice
VIDEO: Bright Land opening scene