Performing Arts: Dance
November 21, 2021
As with so many performance makers, the pandemic forced Jordan Demetrius Lloyd to figure out an engaging way to digitally present material he had intended to stage live. Working in residence at Baryshnikov Arts Center, Lloyd made the choice to present a documentary of his process, rather than making a film of the intended work. Trip Gloss does more than merely document, however. Working with Chandler Clamp to take a choreographic approach to editing, the film sits somewhere between documenting a work that has yet to be performed, and being a filmic performance all on its own.

The meat of the material consists of snippets of Lloyd directing rehearsal. The clips are curated to show the choreographer in moments of creative vulnerability – wonder, confusion, and problem solving in which only questions arise. He is interested in the space between audience and performance, as well as creating choreographic loops that he struggles to resolve to his own satisfaction. Periodically, audio of Lloyd speaking to his collaborators will cut out, and we merely behold the body language of rehearsal – a choreographic loop all its own of diligent practice in a multiplicity of attempt.

The loops we do see Lloyd construct stem from patterns of footwork, over which arms move in syncopation. Pieces of different clips layer on top of one another in geometric relationships that would be impossible to solely produce live. Instead of performing retrogrades, some sections are simply played in reverse.

Lloyd’s cast is so sensitively unadorned in performance that the reversed footage doesn’t have a sense of being rewound; an explicitly articulated footnote plainly tells us how the footage is being manipulated. In lieu of lighting, clips are tinted in neon hues as Ryan Wolfe’s music reinforces a digital environment.

As dancers are either engaged in contemplative or rhythmic tasks, the film situates the captured material either at peace with no editorial meddling, or in collaged frenzies.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Jonathan Matthews-Guzman

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