Unveiling a story of spiritual renewal, hope, fearless, and courage in the midst of uncertainty is seasoned dancer Gelan Lambert.
Choreographing four distinct performances threaded by these themes, Lambert provides audiences with another chapter in each of his quarterly performances.
Performing the third installment this Sunday, Lambert’s next chapter includes music by Eddie Kendricks – an original member of the famed Temptations.
“I’m closing out is with Eddie Kendricks’ “My People Hold On.” I stumbled upon it and thought this was a great way to tie it together,” Lambert, who is of Haitian descent, explained.
Lambert started his four-point project series, titled “Rise, January 1” in partnership with FiveMyles gallery. Acting as a springboard location for the work, Lambert has layered his performance with the inclusion of spoken word and sounds by Antonio Humphrey, also known as DJ T Lyfe.
Each performance includes the mechanics of the show preceding it, opening with Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” — as seen in the very first performance — and now including improv by Lambert.
“In the second point, I created an improvisational element to the work where I didn’t know what he was going to play but I just went for it,” he said.
Each quarter of Lambert’s “Rise” is choreographed organically, only organizing the next performance at the conclusion of the last performance. This allows for the work to be influenced by anything and manifest on its own.
“Every quarter, something new is being added to the work. It’s about bringing the truth out of whatever this piece is and allowing it to mature on its own,” he said.
While Lambert is open to adding new layers including spoken word and singing, he is still weary of ensuring the audience has the necessary context and that there is a recurring thread tying each piece together.
Through inviting members of his industry and allowing for their critique, Lambert is able to tweak his performance as necessary.
“I have certain people that are showing up to this concert to give me feedback because it’s very important to me that there’s a thread where you can look at it and it makes sense to an audience member,” he said.
Lambert will complete “Rise” early 2016 and will then stage the series in other locations.
“What you’ll see on Sunday is something fluid. It’ll be three chapters all together. When I do the fourth point, which will probably happen early 2016, I don’t know what’s going to come about,” he said.
Rise #3 (558 St. Johns Place between Franklin and Classon avenues in Crown Heights, www.gelan