Tom Strini

Hypnotic Jade

Jade Jablonski recreates the dream-like "Artifact" for videographer Garrett Katerzynske and; a 19th-century bank vault co-stars.

By - Aug 24th, 2012 11:03 am – Artifact from ThirdCoast Digest on Vimeo.

We’ve seen Jade Jablonski dash into the Third Ward darkness, a long red skirt waving behind her. She’s emerged like some Arthurian nymph from a pond at the Lynden Sculpture Garden.

And we’ve seen her in a long, slender skirt and antique blouse, in the confines of a 19th-century vault at the Milwaukee County Historical Society. Jade mimed fussy bank business and glided like a ghost over quick, tiny geisha steps. She shifted  abruptly from smooth slow motion to quick, jerky staccato. Her placid, lovely face warped grotesquely now and then. She could have been sleepwalking. Jade was gripping every second of this gorgeous, creepy David Lynch-style episode.

All of the above occurred under the Wild Space Dance company banner. Artistic director Debra Loewen had Jablonski repeat the bank vault piece, Artifact, at the Wild Space 25th anniversary concert at Turner Hall last spring. At intermission, Loewen told me that she never puts Jablonski in ensembles, but instead frames her in solo moments that the dancer creates under Loewen’s advice and consent. Loewen and I both consider Jablonski irresistible to the eye — first for her exquisite beauty, second for her gorgeous carriage, third for her self-possession, fourth for her striking movement invention and fifth for a magical charisma that is palpable but can’t be pinned down.


After the 25th anniversary concert, Jade agreed to make a video of Artifact with us. TCD has been fortunate to have the talented Garrett Katerzynske as a video intern this summer. The two of them got together to create this piece. I’m grateful to Jade, Garrett and to Scott Stroh, executive director of the Historical Society, for allowing us to shoot in and about the upper vault of the society’s building, which once was a bank. Many thanks also to London composer Paul Pavey, for allowing us to use his music.

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0 thoughts on “ Hypnotic Jade”

  1. Anonymous says:

    exquisite – as always. thank you for sharing this.

  2. Anonymous says:

    beautiful work by ALL involved.
    well captured and framed in the filming !
    thank you for capturing and
    preserving this lovely dance.

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