A collaboration for the ages reunites two dancers in ‘Homeward’
By Pam Grady | November 24, 2017
[excerpt from full article]
Dancers Sue Li-Jue and Joan Lazarus first met more than 30 years ago at Mills College. Li-Jue was getting her master’s degree in dance, and Lazarus was her thesis adviser. They have been colleagues and friends ever since, but the last time they danced together was in a short piece back in the 1990s. That is about to change as Li-Jue, 59, and Lazarus, 60-plus, step into the spotlight in “Homeward,” the Sarah Bush Dance Project’s 10th anniversary holiday show.
Dancing with Sue “is one of the most wonderful parts of it, for me,” says Lazarus. “When we move together, because we moved together for so many years, it is like going home. Sarah has sometimes said in rehearsal, ‘but you just did that in unison, it’s exactly the same.’ When you’ve trained and studied together, it’s amazing how easy it is to drop back into that.”
“Homeward” is new but spun off of a dance titled “Home” that Bush conceived after Hurricane Katrina. The new piece, which comes in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and October’s Wine Country fires, focuses on family relationships and the meaning of home. As times have changed, so has the dance. Li-Jue notes one significant alteration Bush has made.
“Sarah really wanted a multigenerational cast,” she says. “Her original cast 10 years ago were 20-year-old dancers playing the roles of mothers and grandmothers and grandfathers. She felt it was really important to honor people of a certain age and to honor dancers who have had a very full life in dance, as Joan and I have.”