Friday, August 01, 2003

Fringe Opening Night - Part 2

Minneapolis Theater Garage


Short version - If you're wondering whether or not to see this, "SEE IT."

I've admitted it, I don't "get" dance most of the time. The language of movement is often beyond me (and that's a slam on me, not dance. I wish I were more conversant in the form). I certainly can't dance myself. But this was a sort of amazing hybrid of dance and theater that was completely accessible to me.

Standard linear narrative? No. But could I follow the "characters" of the four performers- 3 female, 1 male - absolutely.

It was stunning to see, or I guess be reminded again, of just what the human body is capable of doing. Time and again I was bowled over by the things these people could do. There are very few words of dialogue in the opening half of this, and yet the smallest movements conveyed volumes.

Ultimately, the longing they conveyed, the need for physical contact with a fellow human being, however simple, was incredibly moving. Sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking - from the tiniest movement of the eyes or fingers, to the full involvement of the whole body - just filled with yearning.

I will admit, there were moments when they nearly lost me. It teeters on the edge of "Fringe-iness" (pretentiousness disguised as art), but it never goes over. Just when I was afraid they were gone, something incredibly sweet or sad and always human would happen. The sounds and the images stick with me.

Oh, and don't let the loud, heavy metal pre-show music put you off. The show couldn't be more unlike that opening impression. I'm glad I kept an open mind and you will be, too.

The creator of this piece, Noah Bremer (I think he danced once in some performance piece at Red Eye involving a remote controlled toy car, he seemed familiar, even without auto mechanic clothes) - at any rate, Noah also directed SIX STEPS, which is over at Illusion right now. Glad I already have it on my schedule or I'd need to find a way to squeeze it in. I liked this show that much.

Also, the program says he's involved in a group called WORKS/PLAYS, doing some new work again in the fall. Check it out. I will.

But first, see EXPOSURE.

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