When Philly-based choreographer Leah Stein began her company 10 years ago, she knew she didn’t want to spend the next decade in a stuffy theater — or any theater, for that matter.
“I was really starting my investigation on site and what it meant to be in different locations, from Longwood Gardens to an empty city parking lot,” says Stein, who has become known for her site-specific pieces. “I feel like my own creative process is catalyzed most when I’m considering the physical surroundings as much as the movements. I’m visual, I’m kinetic, I’m oratory — I really take in the whole space as an artist.”
This weekend, an anniversary program will look back on Leah Stein Dance Co.’s work with six dances that highlight not only the company’s unusual stages but their many cross-genre collaborations, as well. Included in the program is “Hull,” Stein’s 2011 collaboration with boat builder Carolyn Hesse, and “A Lily Lilies,” a quintet exploring language and dance created with poet Josey Foo.
As for the next 10 years, Stein hopes to further examine where poetry, chorus and text meet movement. Of course, she doesn’t intend to do so indoors. “I love not having a ceiling and letting the landscape be a layer,” she says.