This visually stunning work of aerial dance, circus arts, video, and live music draws inspiration from the paintings of Marc Chagall; Do Jump! takes the audience on a playful journey celebrating life, love, color, shape and spirit. Chagall said, "The dignity of the artist lies in his duty of keeping awake the sense of wonder in the world." Do Jump! embraces this belief, and like Chagall, strives to inspire people through the wonder of everyday images that evoke memory, illuminate the mysterious, and break down barriers to time and place.
At Such a Dizzy Height was conceived and directed by Robin Lane, and features animation by Chel White Films; paintings by Portland visual artists Mary Ellen Pinfold, Annie Warnock, Mark Loring, John Early, and Laura Bender; and live music by Joan Szymko, Klezmocracy, Joe Janiga, Courtney Von Drehle, and Ralph Huntley.
"What's great about the company, particularly apparent in this production, is its seamless, elegant merging of various art forms: None stands out over the other, but together the final result is greater than the sum of its parts. This is perhaps one of the company's best pieces ever." –The Oregonian
The show was a huge hit, and I know that the images you created onstage will last a lifetime in the hearts of those who experienced them." –Heather Spicuzza, Artistic Director, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts.
"In our life there is a single color, as on an artist's palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love." – Marc Chagall
Chagall was born on July 7, 1887 in Vitebsk, Belarus (then part of the Russian Empire). He was the eldest son of nicne children in a closely knit Hassidic Jewish family. This period of his life, described as happy though impoverished, appears in references throughout his paintings. Chagall married Bella, his childhood sweetheart and the couple moved to Moscow in 1920. They left Russia for Paris in 1923. During World War II with the Holocaust and the deportation of French Jews, the Chagalls fled to the United States. After the sudden death of his beloved Bella, Chagall moved back to Paris. In 1952 he remarried to Valentina Brodsky and remained in France for the rest of his life.
Throughout his 75 year career, Chagall produced an astonishing 10,000 works. Aside from painting and printmaking, Chagall created theatre sets and costume designs, mosaics, murals, ceramics, tapestries, and stained glass windows. His warm, human pictoral universe, full of personal memories and metaphor, set him apart from much of 20th century art, with its intellectual deconstruction of objects and abstraction. As a result, critics were often dismissive of him, while the public loved his work.
In 1985, when Chagall died at the age of 97, he was still working, still the avant-garde artist who refused to be modern. That was the way he said he wanted it: "To stay wild, untamed... to shout, weep, and pray."
I have always loved Marc Chagall's paintings. Since childhood, I have been captivated by his use of color and light, his unique relationship to gravity and his whimsical honesty.
It wasn't until I dove into this research for this show that I truly began to understand my affinity with his work. In his poetic memoir "My Life," I was struck by his ability to see the world and all its contradictions as one. He did not make distinctions between what can or cannot fly, between humanity and the natural world, between art and spirit. Chagall refused to limit possibilities. His work is both grounded in history and delightfully spontaneous. Chagall says his paintings are not symbolic of anything, they are reality. They are meant to be experienced like poetry. So that is what we tried to do.
And it was really fun.
At Such A Dizzy Height takes place at the intersection of love and art. The paintings gave us permission to explore these themes in my own way. It is our sincere wish that this performance will do the same for its audiences.
– Robin Lane