Music: Arvo Pärt (Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, 1977)
Choreography: Susan Marshall
Staging: Kristen Hollinsworth and Luke Miller
Original Lighting Design: Mitchell Bogard
Lighting Design: Peter Bracilano
Original Harnesses and Rigging Design: John Redman
Duration: 7 minutes
Premiere: December 3, 1987; Dance Theater Workshop (New York)
Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: February 2, 2006

Mara Vinson and James Moore in Kiss.
Photo © Angela Sterling

Set to the profound, minimal music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, Kiss is a brief yet mesmerizing aerial pas de deux that explores the balance of human love and emotion. Susan Marshall’s choreography sets two dancers suspended in harnesses above the stage floor. Dressed casually in street clothes, they move together, separate and return to one another in a series of gentle, sweeping movements that embody both the pleasure and torment of being in love.

Kiss was choreographed in 1987 during a residency at Jacob’s Pillow, Massachusetts, and was premiered that year in New York by Dance Theater Workshop. The Boston Herald referred to Kiss as “a case study for making the perfect aerial dance,” and the Oakland Tribune observed, “The miracle of the piece is that it captures in concrete dance terms the almost palpable feeling of swimming in love, of being suspended in eternity.”

Recommended Listening:
Arvo Pärt: Sanctuary, Virgin Classics 45314

Notes by Doug Fullington.

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