Asphalt (2002)

Asphalt is a dance/opera that tells the story of Racine, an artist abandoned as a child, who walks out of his life and into the landscape of ritual hauntings on the streets of New York City. As an aspiring DJ, Racine uses the elements of jazz, classical and trip hop beats to transcend his urban reality and enter a world made right by music.

Concept and Direction: Jane Comfort
Choreography: Jane Comfort and Company
Book and Lyrics: Carl Hancock Rux
Vocal Score: Toshi Reagon
Instrumental Score: DJ Spooky, with additional music by David Pleasant and Foosh
Dramaturgy: Morgan Jenness
Costumes: Liz Prince
Lighting Design: David Ferri

Racine: Manchild
Couchette: Aleta Hayes
Emma: Irene Datcher
Eddie: Julius Hollingsworth
Lilly: Elizabeth Haselwood
Geneva: Karma Mayet Johnson
Thelophonies: Cynthia Bueschel Svigals, Stephanie McKay, Stephen Nunley

Commission by The Joyce Theater and the American Dance Festival through a Doris Duke Award for New Work with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Creative Capital and the Mary Flagler Cary Foundation. Asphalt also received a development residency at Jacob’s Pillow/Pillow Works 2000 and appeared in workshop as part of The Ohio Theater’s Ice Factory Festival 2000.


“By the end, 'Asphalt' has achieved what Aristotle said a tragedy must-a catharsis that purges and purifies its witnesses."

-- The Berkshire Eagle

"If theater wants to get its luster back, it needs to start claiming works like Asphalt for itself, and ought not hesitate in welcoming Jane Comfort aboard."

-- The New Republic

"'Asphalt' is more avant-garde than Broadway could ever hope to be."

-- The Day