Don't take the title of John Jasperse's current work too literally, because "Just Two Dancers" is anything but. The New York City-based...

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Don’t take the title of John Jasperse’s current work too literally, because “Just Two Dancers” is anything but.

The New York City-based modern-dance choreographer has a history rich with awards and prestige, including a 2001 Bessie Award and commissions from Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project and the Lyon Opera Ballet in France. But Jasperse’s upcoming performance at On the Boards marks a departure from the methods of dance creation he has utilized in the past.

“I began to think about the conventional theater, and of the ideas it projected about the value of space — the ‘important’ stage versus the desired ‘transparency’ of the audience,” Jasperse said, in an e-mail written while on tour in Chile. “This led to the decision to make a work for theater where most of the dance is in the space of the audience.”

Dance preview

“Just Two Dancers,” presented by John Jasperse Company, 8 p.m. Thursday through Feb. 6, On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., Seattle; $22 (206-217-9888 or

Accordingly, “Just Two Dancers” consists of Jasperse and company member Juliette Mapp dancing on platforms constructed amid the seated viewers, erasing the traditional audience/stage separation. In addition, audience members themselves will play a pivotal role in crafting the performance they see, thanks to small mirrors handed out to everyone at the door.

“The mirror was a way to force the audience to look at themselves looking,” Jasperse explains.

“I want people to examine how they see. What is our attention projected toward and away from, and why? I’d like people to ask themselves questions about how they are looking and how that affects what they understand about what they see.”

See you there.

Brangien Davis: