X, 2010, Danspace Project, New York
photographs: ©Paula Court


Inspired by conceptual artist Dan Graham's film "Rock My Religion, which connects the ecstatic dances of groups like the Shakers with rock and roll. Channeling raw attitude and rapturous energy, X pushes toward a communal catharsis, merging the formal and the ecstatic.

For X, artist Martin Kersels transformed St. Mark's Church, capitalizing on the verticality of the space by suspending a kinetic chandelier (or as he calls it, "a charm") above its center. Kersels' labors in the balcony to create an incidental soundscore, turning the legendarily acoustically live sanctuary into a single enormous sound machine; while below dancers Talya Epstein, Maggie Jones, Molly Lieber, Marilyn Maywald, and Antonietta Vicario boldly generate an equally dynamic physical force-field.

May 13—15, 2010, Danspace Project, St. Mark's Church, New York
August 13, 2011, Mount Tremper Arts Summer Festival, Mount Tremper, NY

Lighting: Roderick Murray
Costumes: Melinda Ring
Sound and stage assistance: Kimberly Hamlin and Enrico D. Wey

Review - Brooklyn Rail
Review - New York Times
Preview - The New Yorker
Preview - Dance Magazine
Preview - Time Out New York

“X took the path to salvation—or wholeness, or at least a better plane of existence than corporate monotony—through the most expansive, encompassing corporeal available…it was a shaggy beast…the show hangs in my mind’s eye now as a swagger, rough around the edges and wandering all over... like the Velvet Underground frenzy “Sister Ray” that is distortion and repetition and improvisation and chaotic simultaneous riffs.” - Mary Love Hodges, The Brooklyn Rail

Funding Credit
© Melinda Ring 2022