The Elements follows the progression from chaos to order enacted by Rebel’s Baroque score. In the opening section, classical vocabulary clashes with disparate movement styles. The dancers move through the rapid succession of steps with uninhibited quickness. Flashing lights and the dissonant music add to the primal energy onstage.
As the ballet develops, Tharp untangles the knot of movement presented in the opening sections. The elements are distilled in turn until the final section, when they are reassembled in rational, Newtonian harmony.