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The New York Society for Ethical Culture & Jody Sperling/Time Lapse Dance present SOUND~EARTH~MOTION

The New York Society for Ethical Culture & Jody Sperling/Time Lapse Dance present SOUND~EARTH~MOTION


Jody Sperling/Time Lapse Dance


The New York Society for Ethical Culture, Adler Hall
2 W 64th St.


Saturday, June 1, 2024 - 7:00pm



Jody Sperling/Time Lapse Dance

The New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC) and Jody Sperling/Time Lapse Dance (TLD) present SOUND~EARTH~MOTION an evening by NYSEC Eco-Artist-in-Residence Jody Sperling and her Time Lapse Dance ensemble on Saturday, June 1, 2024, with a performance starting at 7pm followed by a gala at 8pm. Featured works explore human entanglement with nature and highlight the decade-long climate-engaged collaboration between choreographer Jody Sperling and environmental composer Matthew Burtner.

Tickets for the performance start at $20, with tickets for the gala starting at $125. Advance sales are encouraged, especially for gala tickets whose supply is limited. For more info, and to purchase tickets, click here.

Arbor (2023), which premiered in November, dwells on the intimacy of trees. In voluminous costumes meticulously painted with tree limbs (by textile artist Gina Nagy Burns and costume designer Mary Jo Mecca), the dancers spiral, billow, and encircle one another in gusts of action resembling timelapses of tree motion. As Karen Hildebrand, writing for Fjord Review, describes the dance: “When [the performers] opened and closed their arms, the effect was of beating insect wings—or the pulse of a growing tree.”

Wind Rose (2019), the ensemble’s signature Loïe Fuller-inspired work, renders changing atmospheric patterns palpable to sight, sound, and touch. “[T]he extent of its power can be hypnotic.” (Erica Digman, World Policy Institute).

The program also includes a rare reprisal of Sperling’s solo Clair de lune (2005) evoking the shimmer of a moonlit sky. Philip Sandstrom, writing for Dance Insider, called it “a masterful work of resplendent yet restrained evocation of the supernatural.”

All of these works feature transformative costumes that abstract the essence of human movement into elemental and organic forces, with the dancers variously appearing to conjure a growing forest or hovering storm clouds. The company's unique style of movement draws inspiration from and furthers the art form created by dance icon Loïe Fuller (1862-1928) a century ago. Lighting is by Bessie-Award-winning designer David Ferri.

Following the performance, gala ticket holders will be treated to an evening of sparkling wine and conversation with the artists, Time Lapse Dance fans, and members of the Ethical NYC community. Light dinner fare will be served at this cocktail-style event.


Time Lapse Dance performers:

Jody Sperling, choreographer

Frances Barker

Anika Hunter

Maki Kitahara

Nicole Lemelin

Sarah Tracy

Rathi Varma


MET Orchestra Musicians:

Bruno Eicher, violin

Sarah Vonsattel, violin

Kari Jane Docter, cello


About Jody Sperling

Jody Sperling (Choreographer), Founder/Artistic Director of Time Lapse Dance, has created 50+ works. The leading exponent of performance technology innovator Loie Fuller (1862-1928), she has expanded the genre into contemporary and environmental forms. In 2014, Sperling participated in a polar science mission and danced on Arctic sea ice, creating the short dance film “Ice Floe,” which was honored by the Creative Climate Awards. She earned a World Choreography Award nomination for her work on the French feature “The Dancer” (Dir. Stephanie Digiusto, premiere Cannes Film Festival). Sperling’s work and company are also featured in the Fuller documentary “Obsessed with Light” (Dirs. Sabine Krayenbuhl and Zeva Oelbaum; premiere 2023 Rome Film Festival) In recent years, Sperling’s has focused on creatively engaging with climate change and developing ecokinetics, a practice that cultivates the relationship between human movers and ecological systems. Since 2022 Sperling and company have been Eco-Artists-in-Residence at the New York Society of Ethical Culture where they are advancing their mission of dancing toward a more embodied, sustainable, and equitable future.


About Matthew Burtner

Matthew Burtner (Composer) (matthewburtner.com) is an Alaskan-born composer and sound artist who creates music from materials and data of climate change, particularly related to the Arctic. Burtner spent his childhood in the far north of Alaska and this profoundly shaped his musical language. He is a pioneer in the field of eco-acoustics and has worked extensively with systems of climatology applied to music. His work has recently been featured by NASA, National Geographic, the US State Department, Earther, and the Ringling Museum. First Prize Winner of the Musica Nova International competition, and an NEA Art Works and IDEA Award winner, Burtner's music has received honors and prizes from Bourges (France), Gaudeamus (Netherlands), Darmstadt (Germany) and The Russolo (Italy) international competitions. He teaches composition and computer music at the University of Virginia, and directs the environmental arts non-profit organization, EcoSono (ecosono.org).


About Time Lapse Dance

Time Lapse Dance (TLD) is an all-women 501(c)3 dance company founded by Sperling in 2000. TLD envisions dance as a powerful force that can help move us toward a more embodied, sustainable and equitable future. The work aims to investigate the relationship of the moving body to the ecologies we inhabit through performance, media, education, and activism.


About The New York Society for Ethical Culture

The New York Society for Ethical Culture is a Humanist community dedicated to ethical relationships, social justice, and democracy since 1876. The Society's members put deed before creed and ethics in action to educate, advocate, organize, and build coalitions to end racism, poverty, and war; abolish the death penalty and mass incarceration; guarantee reproductive freedom; welcome refugees and immigrants; fight climate change and pollution, and more. Visit the Society online at ETHICAL.NYC.


About the Met Orchestra Musicians

Brought together by their love of music, dance, art, and the earth, these musicians from the MET Orchestra strive to make connections with other artists in the context of climate change. Where can music intersect with the desire and motivation for change on this earth? This is their second appearance with Time Lapse Dance.


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This program is made possible in part by an ongoing eco-artist-residency at The New York Society for Ethical Culture, with the generous support of the Peck Stacpoole Foundation, and with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

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