Journal

Tasty Rubs (still) Dec 2, 2011

by Ellie Sandstrom

Rubbing thumb, index, middle and ring finger together, I go through the many identities of the moving visions and moments of stillness before me. I can (still) taste the sound- ready for me to climb into it and gather more. I can (still) feel the pressure between the tips of the moving bodies- theirs and mine. I sense the struggle at first, then release into the quick rewards, brought forth beautifully, (especially anytime Scofield matched/mismatched Kelly on the reflective flooring of the OtB stage). It seemed spelled out through the outcome. I am ready (for more).
With my tear drying tissue out by the fourth minute and clinging to my inner thigh, I prepare for a cathartic recycling...This happening, for me, especially, and most recently, through the Godliness of the work of Crystal Pite/Kidd Pivot.

Again, I am ready.
Please bring me (anywhere near) there.
I am willing to go where you want to take me... Where will you take me tonight?

The sound is tasty...Quiet in my favorite moments. This brings me into a new theatrical environment immediately... And I feel like I've been around (in a good way) over the last 30 'something' years. It's like a slow, winding wind that builds like a dust devil in the open field of a farmland... Haunting, yet approachable. My skin crawls to hear whatever I can, as I watch it unfurl through the loudly articulated limbs before me... Fierce, yet gentile, with well lubed joints... Perfectly placed movements matching particularly placed sounds. (Thank you). Matt Starritt and Greg Haines balance these whispering moments with the voluptuous swells of German opera and pulsing beats, bringing forth a well balanced score. 

With nineteen, vertical red strings hanging visibly upstage, the set and lighting continues to unfold new worlds. Like shedding skins of the past and parting with memories lost, Juniper's video effects are haunting, stimulating and at times conflicting, but ultimately necessary. Assuring moments of another dancer in the flesh against a soloist, behind the many layers of plastic and fabric, also bring forth moments of recorded images, confusing my focus and pulling me in ever deeper to discover what is real and what is projected past. The simple, precise and wise choices of Shuey's clear lines in the set design give me soft flashbacks of Lester Lee, designer for the Three Yells (mid 90's-early 2000's, Seattle). It is ultimately stunning and beautiful. Along with the striking aid of Robert Aguilar's lighting, the two blend a seamless and particular bond.               

I marinated in the story of Goldie Locks tonight as I meticulously watched each dancer, (and in the beginning, desperate to identify the always lovely Christiana Axelsen). I was quick to judge the movement origins and extensions of the unfamiliar (to me) dancers; 'this one's too soft, this one's too hard, this one's just right'. Witnessing the difference and slightest variations of focus and even wrists/hands (vs. Scofield), within such a powerful piece, challenged the over-all unison accomplishments at times...  Although I am extremely picky when it comes to moving bodies and tend to be nourished through the most meticulous of details. (Double down on the Crystal Pite reference above). Scofield's movement, choreography and likely many improvisational directives for her dancers, offer an arena of satisfaction that helped to quickly build an internal gnawing and desire within. I found myslef moving with them through the entire show.                                                                                                                                               Eric Andor's meticulous costumes brought for a highly detailed ride within the choreographed line. Holding memories of flesh tones and gold, when released, finally, in a section in the nude, the barking demons of Scofield and Kelly gave a chance to take in the extraordinary muscular divine of the bodies in action. (Again, thank you). Axelsen's solo in balance with this image was a highlight of the piece for me.                                                  

Taken for a ride by the most stunning of all, with a lanky stride and the dapper action that is Raja Feather Kelly, (I want so desperately to put him in my pocket and just keep him there, close to me), I felt washed and cleansed to see another bring forth such grace and power in ease through movement. Dance on you delicious stallion of loft!                                                                                                                                                         Fully committed as Kelly continued to pull, push and drive Deaver, Axelsen, and Schon to stage right, as if to re-start/try again/ re-think the exit... I  felt completely satisfied when Kelly and Scofield were left hanging, together, alone, finally, struggling in center stage... Like cats battling over and shredding the ornaments hanging low from a Christmas tree. I wanted it to end there.
At that point, the tasty rubs were marinated long enough to be cooked.

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