NWNW Festival Weekend 2- Mainstage or How I Love Thee... Jun 16, 2013

by Gabrielle

I was a little frazzled immediately after I agreed to blog about last night's performances, as an artist involved in the festival (I directed a piece in the Studio showcase, weekend 1) I thought it would be difficult to respond to the work of so many artists that I know closely and I understand the particular experience of showing your work in this particular context...but as it turns out I really want/need to talk about it.

Paul Budraitis- Clear Blue Sky: Paul, as an individual, has an uncompromising energy and I knew before seeing the show that no matter what story he told he would bring that same fire to the stage. The major design components of this piece (projection the width of the stage and a large, wooden, illuminated cube which appeared transparent via live-feed projection of the action inside the cube on the cube's outer surface) magnified the solo performer's face and gestures, at once isolating and exposing each expression. Paul told a compilation of narratives, stories about loss, about fathers, about airplanes, and reminded me of the strength of an authentic story-telling. Empathy and honesty abounds. 
Images that stay with me: the horizon of earth, a sad man's face magnified and blown up x20, a gun?!, hands holding a small burning candle. 

The New Animals- TRE: Knowing that this piece was inspired by the very real loss of a dear friend of the creators/collaborators on this new work made the experience like a treasure hunt of images and movement that gave insight into those relationships, that story. The beauty of this piece was the virtuosity of the dancers; all incredible local gems and clearly connected to the content and one another though that connection at times felt internal in a way that didn't allow me access the heart of this ritual, this grief, this purging. I felt like there was an undercurrent I couldn't latch on to but the love the performers poured into the specificity of the movement compelled.
Images that stay with me: Sean's spine-defying arch, red solo cups, taking shots, genuine smiles, III

Bobbevy- This is How We Disappear: I know the least about these artists, but am very interested to know more. Monochromatic projection of trees (an orchard? a forest?) and costuming made the simplicity of this piece at once striking, but at length longed for evolution. The two dancers (Jesse and Jessica...there were also two Jesse's in my's like the festival of Jesse's or something) gave in to the tempo of the score, finding excrutiating articulation in a barren world of techno-trees. 
Images that stay with me: time-warping through trees, hair, hand to stomach, distance

The Satori Group- The Land is Always Known: I've know these folks for five years now, have seen them evolve personally, professionally, as a company, as lovers and friends...and goddamn. The modern mythology of this piece, this invoking of hurt and acknowledgment of failure to escape is stunning. From the movement (Molly Sides) to the design (Montana Tippett) to the music (the fucking Bengsons) and direction (Caitlin Sullivan) this piece is a full-length onslaught of beauty waiting to happen. Satori is a group of smarty-pants interdisciplinary artists, this project takes inspiration that in their previous work stayed in the heady space of concept and shoved it into their guts and hearts and mouths.
Images that stayed with me: Quinn's haircut, chorus of ghosts, growing/falling, wall of woven flowers/dirt/blood, sexy backs

So much beauty, so much risk, so much worth seeing. This is my fourth year involved in the festival either performing or creating, and the work being shared this year makes it really hard to leave (for grad school in the fall). Get there, if you haven't!