Conceived, directed, and performed by Sarah Levitt & Benjamin Wegman

photo by John Borstel

This is a dance about two people and a hammock. Sometimes they will dance in the hammock. Sometimes they’ll dance near it, or far from it. Sometimes they will rest. In Hammock, Dance Exchange artists Sarah Levitt and Benjamin Wegman explore and experience rest as a defiant and aggressive act. Relax— this is just a dance.

Surrounded by the American dream to achieve, build, and consume, is it possible to just exist? Hammock confronts notions of rest and restlessness in a hyper-driven society. Hammock will take multiple forms: a work for the stage, a gallery installation, a site-specific (non?)happening. The artists describe their process as one that “shifts between rest and productivity, talking and silence, being seen and disappearing, virtuosity and ‘that doesn’t look like a dance,’ changing the world and giving up for good.”

Using movement, text, and an original sound design by Matt Hubbs, Hammock explores the ways in which we name who we are and define what we have been and will become. The piece intends to strip away the flashy production elements of modern performance, instead focusing on the human body and the stage space they inhabit. The work will challenge audiences to question: Who am I right now? Who will I be in two minutes? What defines this immediate experience? Hammock is commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of Performing Arts for Everyone at the Millennium Stage.

Sarah Levitt and Benjamin Wegman in Rest Easy. Photo by Brian Stewart

Sarah Levitt and Benjamin Wegman in Rest Easy. Photo by Brian Stewart

“Rest Easy” is a site-specific installation element of Hammock in which the performers seek rest in repetition. During this durational performance (lasting anywhere from 30 minutes-4 hours), the performers complete a task with precision and purpose in order to begin again. Disturbances in the task’s sequence create detours in mood and action that reveal restlessness, rest, and what lies in between these edges.

For booking information for Hammock and the “Rest Easy” installation, contact partnerships@danceexchange.org.