Journal

tEEth @ OtB Feb 13, 2009

by Jessica

Inside you there is something uncivilized, miserable, hungry and to put it frankly-- grubby and no matter how much you try to paste a well-behaved pretty face atop it will always be there just under the skin screaming for attention.   Your ill-tempered, self-indulgent inner child so to speak.   tEEth let this part of themselves run the show from start to finish.

I was under the misconception this was a dance show, but really it is more of a multi-media musical theater piece.   tEEth has a lot of things going for them.   A physically diverse and courageous cast. Well integrated and inventive use of video that transforms the human head into a hundred swirling eyes and gnashing teeth.   Simple costumes that evolve into ever more complex puzzles while never being distracting or overpowering the shape of the body.   Dynamic music at times jarring and at others graceful.   Beautiful and clever use of vocalization.   Precise and well-crafted facial expressions.

On the other hand,   I wish tEEth had pushed the physicality of their bodies to the extremes that they did their faces.   Take away the grimaces and scowls and much of the movement is bland and unclear as if their heads were pasted atop their bodies.   I think tEEth could also benefit from a closer examination of pacing and development.   Early on they set up their dynamics and carried them through until the end of the show.   Alternating an aggressive, assaultive moment with a quieter, reflective one and back again.   The characters didn't seem to experience growth or decay and at the end I felt that although it had been a fascinating and at times very moving evening I hadn't really been given anything to hold on to.

While you may have to look elsewhere for transformative theater you should go to tEEth to see multi-media done right, to see dancers not afraid of using their face and to see song and dance happen in the same space without being trite.

-Marissa Niederhauser

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