Arts Runoff: PERFORMANCE IMPROV

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Summary: An hour of short dance pieces. EVERYTHING is improvised: music, sound, lighting, and of course, the dance itself.

Good: Local multi-instrumentalist Ron Rost was fantastic as a part of the band. His main role was percussion, but I had no idea what bizarre instrument he would pull out next–drums, bells, sticks, flutes, even mouth-accordions. And they all fit. // Eamon Fogarty can make an electric guitar sound like anything. // The dancers really hit their stride about halfway through. The turning point was a great group piece in which I immediately understood each dancer’s relationship to the others, and also understood that they were in control.

Bad: During an improvisation, whether in music, dance, or acting, participants usually have three basic options: repeat a pattern, repeat and modify, or start a new pattern. The dancers chose the first option more often than I would’ve liked, watering down some great choices by not letting them go soon enough. // Maybe I think too much in terms of plot and characters, but I sometimes get the feeling in modern dance shows that each dancer is in a little individual bubble, moving out of sync with (and looking right past) the other people onstage. Especially since this was improv, things started to slide when the dancers lost touch with each other.

Broad: This is contemporary dance at its contemporary-danciest. It’s not at all pretentious–the energy in the dancers’ faces and bodies makes that clear–but it does obey its own kind of logic, a kind you don’t see too often in movies, novels, or plays. So be ready to abandon your normal ways of thinking for an hour. // Don’t take this review too seriously, since the show will be totally different tomorrow!

Contextual Rating: If you have something important to do this weekend,
…do it, and see this show if you can. [Although fantastic, perhaps not ideal if it’s the first dance concert of your life. As I’ve said before, watching choreographed shows by some of these same folks is really incredible.]
…put it off and go watch some performance improv!
…skip it. SEE THIS SHOW.

In the CFA, 8:00 Saturday. $10/8/6.

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