As the audience entered the theater at the 3LD Art & Technology Center, a woman in a body cast rested on her side in a sea of dirt. At the center of the space was a large, triangular glass structure, with the audience seated on two sides. My neighbor remarked that it felt like we were seeing our own reflection, rather than looking at the audience across from us.
Throughout the New York premiere of BeginAgain Installed, presented last month by 3LD and The Joyce Theater and directed by choreographer Zoe Scofield and visual artist Juniper Shuey, shadows and reflections abound in a work that explored shifting identities through sound, video, music, movement, and light. The small space often felt crowded, weighed down by immersive video projections, jarring sounds, and dim lighting.
The movement of Ariel Freedman and Zoe Scofield, both petite and dressed in gray lace dresses, ranged from violent to tender, wild to contained. Rooted in ballet vocabulary that was often twisted into something more bizarre, BeginAgain Installed showed two sides of the same person. The triangular structure, which turned out to be both reflective and transparent, added to the feeling of being stuck, conflicted, or trapped as the two women danced frenetically within its walls. Outside of the structure, the woman in the body cast (Annie Rigney) rose from the ground and guided them, pushing an internal struggle in one direction or another.
Surrounding the dancers’ fragile relationship were menacing sounds and shadows. Silhouettes slowly moved along the walls, with Scofield and Freedman mirroring their movement in real time. The prism’s walls and other lighting choices added myriad reflections, creating a dizzying swirl of bodies. The self was even more divided, more broken, in this harrowing atmosphere.