Credit: Ben McKeown

“What does dance do besides make stories?” New York-based choreographer Tere O’Connor asks in Long Run, which proceeds in episodes enacted by subsets of his troupe of eight dancers, structured by scenes that accumulate without converging on a plot. “Is there a causality of some sort, or are we just looking at a choreographed randomness?” he muses. “Maybe every choreographer is going through some kind of drama of trying to control or hold on to time.”

No ambition too small, in Long Run O’Connor aims to understand the nature of consciousness through movement. “I don’t start with an idea and translate that into dance. I start with dancing to locate the ideas,” he says. “I’m interested in complexity, a density of information. I think that’s really the answer to everything. Instead of polarized thinking and binary thought, complexity has potential to heal things.” Pointing out that narrative is produced by the elimination of potential (“Who’s going to become the main person? What’s going to happen? Are we going to save the city?”), O’Connor argues for the value of a work that remains open to possibility. “It’s a portal to exit language,” he suggests.

“You ricochet from a memory to a thought, a reverie, a sensation of hunger—all those things have an order, but since we don’t honor that order, I’m trying to give it the property of structure and reason. What if we led the world in a way that came from consciousness and not good behavior and pragmatism?” In advance of the establishment of this new social order, he concedes, “Just say there’s free pizza every night.”   v