Heaven Can't Wait! Apr 3, 2010
Morgan Thorson's Heaven provides us with a frozen spiritual. Set against a stark white back drop with floating icicle like beads and glistening sheer curtains on the side, the performance opens with the howl of a wind fan, as the dancers glide slowly in formation across the white floor. As the dancers thrashed against the stages back curtain, the ripples echoing through the fabric were reminiscent of evening winds frequently blowing snow across a frozen lake. It comes as no surprise that this hauntingly beautiful performance is the brainchild of a current resident of that icy city I once called home, Minneapolis. Conceptually the piece feels like a spiritual gathering. Its dance vernacular pulled from the common language of religious revivals. Bowing, clasping hands, murmurs of prayers, incantations of names, calls and responses, the piece gradually builds as the movement contracts, separates, and generally becomes more expansive, taking control of larger sections of the stage. One might speculate that this was the product of that mid-Western Lutheran influence, but the movement references present are pulled from Buddhism as much as any Christian influences, and the rather erratic psychedelic freak-out about three-quarters of the way through, suggests that Thorson is also finding spiritual enrichment for this piece in less traditional spheres of religious engagement. Her musical collaboration with the meditative Duluth based ensemble Low, is inspired for a piece like this, themselves a kind of religiously devout (they're Mormons I believe) bunch. Plus their atmospheric music lends the piece a score that itself is ethereal. Overall, I find myself, in an engaging trance, which is I'm sure was Thorson's intention. Since tonight's the last performance, I'll just tell you that in this case, Heaven can't wait! Get to OtB tonight!