Duration and belief are the themes of "αἰών: of faith," a new evening-length piece by Arts & Above.
Kate Jordan and Bruno Augusto named the piece after a Greek word for eon, a reference to the duration and expanses of time.
"The main aspect of this work is having faith, faith that things will develop; things will unfold, having that trust and that faith," Augusto said.
Jordan and Augusto, a married couple, are the two members of Arts & Above, a performance company. The two moved from Oakland, California, in February. In April, they presented "Veio: From the Soil," an evening-length piece, at the Downtown Dance Collective.
Heather Adams, the founder of the DDC, offered the two an artistic residency, which gives them a space to develop and perform their work and offer classes or workshops.
The new work draws on their diverse backgrounds: Jordan has studied traditional styles like ballet in addition to contemporary modern and American dance. Augusto has a background in Russian ballet, modern dance and contemporary American styles.
The two developed all the aspects of the new hourlong piece: the choreography, sets, costumes and score.
They said the piece starts out somberly, with the two representing living beings in an undefined time period. Over the course of the hour, they become separated yet connected and supporting, and move perhaps toward harmony by the finish.
The two develop their work on two tracks, both the concepts and the movements, and then bring them together. The questions about duration and faith seemed particularly relevant.
"We all have faith within ourselves and faith in what we do," Augusto said. "It's not a faith that is somewhat bound by religion, but it can go there, too."
"It doesn't matter anymore what religion or background you come from, when horrible events are happening, how do you choose to approach those? Do you doubt that there is a reason that we're here and doing what we do? Do you need to know all the answers today? On certain days? Are you a little more willing to go with the flow on other days?" Jordan said.
The dance floor will rely on found images from Montana, such as the rockfaces and the sky. The score consists of altered field recordings, including the Clark Fork River rushing over the rocks. Recordings of an "industrial" rumbling will nod toward the ever-present stress of human development, or the "synthetic clutter" as Jordan called it.
The two are philosophical about the creation of the work, which Augusto said to him has personal meanings.
"To me, it's really embracing to the fullest, maximizing the experience of the now, and that's how I approach the work. I don't want to leave thinking, 'Oh, I didn't say enough, or I didn't say it the right way,' " he said.