Garden is a 35-minute quartet that unfurls in a lush, softly menacing atmosphere featuring an upside-down tree created by scenic designer Kurt Perschke and exquisitely lit by designer Brian Jones. Using an arresting choreographic language of paired unison that ranges from sensuous and delicate to severe and propulsive, Garden draws on primitive issues of origination, collective identity and safety amid the uncontrollable natural world. Two men and two women frolic, flirt and fight in the wake of the unknown, eliciting a world of sensuality and innocence with some dark undercurrents.
The feeling on stage is that of total awareness, like right before an attack when ears are perked, hair stands on end and insignificant sound seems explosive. Even the audience seems to lean in a little closer to make sure they don't miss it.
Garden reminds me of the surrealist René Magritte. I see an English courtly garden reduced and turned on its ear. Beautiful creatures dance in the wind and vibrate in the darkness of imagined trees.
The creation and presentation of Garden is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with the New England Foundation for the Arts through the National Dance Project. Major support for NDP is provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation. Support from the NEA provides funding for choreographers in the early stages of their careers. Garden was created during a residency provided by The Joyce Theater Foundation, New York City, with major support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and at The Historic Asolo Theater of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. The Greenwall Foundation has generously supported Garden, as well as the development of Kate Weare Company since 2007. Garden is made possible in part with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.