CONCORD -- Dana Reitz's new dance, ''Sea Walk," is an evocation of textures: a compendium of cool pedalings and subtle swirls, calligraphic noodlings and casual glances spun out of energy and light.
Danced on Thursday night by Reitz, Sara Rudner, and Christine Uchida -- all remarkable, grounded performers -- it is a meditation on growth that takes the interplay between the body and the environment as its starting point and the way that relationship transforms the world as its end note. ''Sea Walk" doesn't so much proceed as uncoil; in so doing, it nearly shocks you awake.
It was a fitting choice for the final offering in this year's Meet the Artist series at Summer Stages Dance at Concord Academy, which is arguably the most innovative presenter of guest choreographers around. An hour long with no intermission, ''Sea Walk" uses not music for its score but the ''acoustics" of the movement -- the squeak of leather-clad feet on the floor, say, and even gestures that conjure up sounds in the imagination, such as a finger flicking the air. The work opens your eyes -- and mind -- to things that you subconsciously know exist but neglect to see.
For example, when Rudner, a dancer known for her soulfulness and brio, juggles air as if it's so many balls, you realize that the substance we move through is as real as rubber. When Reitz, towering and elegant, dangles her arms like a marionette on strings, you take in not just the right angles of her bent elbows (the ''positive" space) but the contours of the space that surrounds her form (the ''negative" space).
Such revelations come into focus partly because of the way Reitz collaborates with lighting designer Rick Martin and costume designer Daniel Michaelson.
The lights -- 24 spots blaring and dimming overhead, or a yellowish glow filtering in from the side -- are as much an element of the shifting atmosphere onstage as Uchida is as she spirals to her toes, taut as rope.
The glorious costumes -- earth-toned translucent robes that change color as the lights do -- highlight not only the shapes the dancers make but the ones they leave behind.
Reitz has given her dancers core steps and gestures, but she seems to have left it up to them to fit the movement to their own bodies and temperaments. It makes sense: They are seasoned and wise, and share the common history of having danced, at various points, with Twyla Tharp's company. Hence a slight lift in the left shoulder sends Uchida into a backward swirl but Rudner into a more urgent spin. It's as if Reitz wants us to witness the evolution of a phrase, not just its inventiveness -- and to appreciate how thoughts and actions from many sources gather to craft the fabric of our lives.