Steps Retraced: Sharon Lockhart and Noa Eshkol at the Jewish Museum
Entering the ground floor gallery of New York's Jewish Museum, one hears the rhythmic ticking of a metronome, knocking out a precise 120 beats per minute. This sonic shoulder tap leads one into a darkened room, where five large 35mm projections depict nearly life-size dancers performing five dances, titled Duet, Fugue, Landler, Walking and War Dance. Each involves a stark sequence of slow, heavy-footed movements to the sound of the metronome—no music. "Eshkol never considered herself a choreographer," explained artist Sharon Lockhart of Noa Eshkol, an Israeli artist who died in 2007 and whose work—which is focused on dance and textile design—has not been shown in America since the ‘60s. "She called herself a dance composer." Thus, the movement of the dancers is stirred not by music, but by the system and language of movement itself.