Sunday, July 24, 2011

FFA 1 - A Good-Natured Gut - Dancing from the neck up as well as down

The third show in the trio of previews that caught my eye by surprising me at the first Fringe-For-All was

A Good-Natured Gut

(which for some reason, I mistyped as A Good-Natured Girl)

LS Dance Collaborative

Again, it's a pity that the video for this preview couldn't be posted (Robin Gillette mentioned that they'd be posting any videos that had no copyright issues involved. Guess anyone using music that wasn't original ran afoul of that just like people doing established scripts in their previews. For video, I guess it needs to be all original, or with permission of the artist - or a long dead artist, like Shakespeare - wow, is there a lot of Shakespeare this year)

I'll try to do the dancers justice with simple words. I have the Fringe to thank for my expanded appreciation of dance. I find myself noticing things that I don't think I would have noticed before. For instance, the reason these three young women stood out where some other dance previews didn't was in the way they carried themselves.

Three brunettes (I'm assuming Coralee Kaivo, Liz Schoenborn, and Jessica Schuett, since they're the only three listed on the Fringe show page) in silky flowing metallic colored fabric moved with real precision together. The bluesy singer in the background sang and song with a refrain of "my soul is weary."

What I appreciated the most, though, was that they weren't just dancing from the neck down. A lot of dancers with dance with a completely blank expression on their faces, like they're runway models or something. Maybe they need to concentrate, maybe they don't want to draw attention away from the footwork. Whatever the reason, I find it kind of off-putting as a spectator. These women, however, seemed fully engaged. Their faces registered emotion - either internally, or in response to their dance partners, sometimes even to the presence of the audience watching them. It was refreshing to see fully human beings in motion. Because they were more emotionally engaged, so was I.

Plus, dance never ceases to amaze me. I have zero coordination. The control these artists must have to get their bodies to do exactly what they ask them to do, in time to the music and the other dancers around them, boggles my mind. They didn't even take the whole 3 minutes they had for the preview. They had the lights fade out while the warning light was only yellow, as they were still the process of executing moves (letting us know that the dance was a larger piece that would continue, we'd just need to see the show to catch it all). Nicely done.

And their show page mentions they also have a hip hop spoken word artist, and a cellist involved. This sounds more and more like a fun and different sort of show. Another one to squeeze into the schedule...

Show description -

"Darwin once speculated that human emotion was the product of natural selection; gut feelings that proved to be advantageous in furthering the survival of our species. While today’s Homo sapiens have evolved to experience a nuanced array of feelings, A Good-Natured Gut harkens back to the basic roots of our emotion. Through innovative and original movement, LS Dance Collaborative explores the physicality of our fear, sadness, anger, disgust and joy. Set to a constellation of alternative rock, classical cello and spoken word, this show examines the inner workings of our hearts, heads, and guts."

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