Friday, July 31, 2009

Fringe 2009 - OOTS - Passage

"Rock & roll has got to go, and go it does. That's the best way I know to get rid of it."

Back & to the Left Productions


from Galesburg, IL

a. A movement from one place to another
b. The process of elapsing: the passage of time
c. The process of passing from one condition or stage to another;
(transition: the passage from childhood to adulthood)
d. A section of text; particularly a section of medium length

The multifaceted performing artists of Back & to the Left Productions bring you Pas'sage, a collection of six different movement-based performance pieces, each with its own essence and energy. Using text, movement, improvisation and audience participation, Pas'sage is provocative and challenging, moving from a visceral understanding of what it means to be human today.

Back & the the Left productions, founded in 2000 believes in fostering creative collaborations between artists with an eye towards reaching out to non-dancers and incorporating them into the performance experience. The work created by the company is generated through collaboration, with each performer playing a vital role in the development of core ideas. The goal of Artistic Director, Jennifer Smith, is to provide a supportive environment in which these ideas can be explored and later, defined. The outcome of this process is the creation of performance pieces based in personal exploration, that touch audience members on a deeper level.

First off, I just have to give a shout-out to anyone with the peculiar sense of humor to call themselves back and to the left (warning, that link is to the Oliver Stone film "JFK" so... it's a little gross - think Zapruder film, enhanced, and you can just skip on by). On to the preview...

Mom and I refer to this one as "the drunken bridesmaids" - mostly because many of the ladies dancing in this preview were in hideously colored dresses of a matching style. They stumbled in, and stumbled out at the end, from various directions. Their sound mix was an elaborate conglomeration of classic 1950s-era rock & roll music clips, plus sound bites from news and those much-maligned social behavior films of the same time period ("if you find yourself outside during a nuclear explosion...") The audience and the dancers didn't get any one piece of music to latch onto for very long - just recognizable blips in a tossed salad of sound. When the music became slow and distorted, the dance moves did the same. It was a really interesting way of approaching the notion of context. The visuals, the movement, could have meant any number of things. But because we had that aural commentary going on underneath it all, it guided the audience into certain areas of contemplation. I'd be interested to see how this mode of performance plays out over an hour long Fringe slot. If you're looking for dance, they're definitely worth considering. These folks know what they're up to.

Their show page

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