“We all have the same holes in our hearts.”
Synopsis: Presented by The Pilot Dance Project, Aureate is a meditation on the human inclination to create rituals, ceremonies, and myths, and is a call for peace, contemplation, and respite in these troubled times.
Tweet review: #mnfringe Aureate: I’ve seen a lot of great/fun dance at Fringe but Pilot Dance Project is just… whoa; gorgeous work, the concept, use of sound and light, costumes, precision of the bodies in motion; I have to come up with better words, just see it - 5 stars
Aureate is another one that should have been on my pre-Fringe Top 10 list that somehow got by me. Aureate from The Pilot Dance Project was an unexpected reminder to me of how important the experience of live theater is. I saw a recorded version of this show during the first pandemic Fringe online. I wasn’t sure if it was the same show but the cages/hoop skirts made out of copper piping in the background of the show image on the Fringe site make me think, “Wait a minute, haven’t I seen this before…?” I had. And it was a great recording of a performance. Good camera work from various angles, good editing. But this show is a whole different thing with the dancers living and breathing right there in front of you, sharing the same space and oxygen as the audience.
An audience can appreciate so much more the precision of the choreography and the way the dancers execute it. The texture of the costumes and the way they move. The simplicity of the design that focuses the eye on the stage picture the different sections of the program are trying to create, whether it’s one dancer, two, three or the full group. The nature concept which has dancers evoking the moves of deer, insects or birds - not a scientific recreation, but enough subtle hints here and there that trigger little memories in the corners of your mind. The unworried way that they toy with gender expectations - hey, if it’s easier for a person to move in a long black dress, whether they present as male or a female, then people should be wearing long black dresses. The previously mentioned hoop skirts? That’s the one time it felt more like humans showing off for each other than animals preening, though honestly, we have a lot in common, as the dance reminded us. Also, in lesser dance, the moves are all there, but the dancers’ faces are a blank, no emotion. Not so in Aureate. You may not know exactly what is on their minds, but faces of these dancers and where their eyes go let you know they’re thinking about a lot more than just the next set of steps.
The way these dancers made use of the small studio space was just mesmerizing. Seeing the human body in motion like that - lit and dressed as they were, with the variety of sound backing them up - can take your breath away. It was a treat to be so close and share the room with them. The Pilot Dance Project has three more performances of Aureate, tonight 8/9 at 10pm, Thursday 8/11 at 5:30pm, and Saturday, 8/13 at 2:30pm - go seem them for yourself. It’s some of the best dance in the Fringe this year.
5 Stars - Very Highly Recommended
(You can click on the following links to see a set of links to reviews of all the 5 and 4.5 star shows (VERY highly recommended), and other shows, plus the full Top 10 list, the Top 11-20 list, a list of returning favorites, and the full coverage of the 2022 Fringe on this blog.)
(Side note: Also during Fringe season, Minnesota has a primary election on August 9th. You can check out what's on your ballot ahead of time on the Minnesota Secretary of State website, as well as other voting services and information. In Minneapolis, not only do we have the Governor and Lt. Governor on the ballot, but there's our U.S. Congressional Rep., our MN State Senator, the MN Secretary of State and MN Attorney General, as well as our County Sheriff and County Attorney, and two members of the Minneapolis School Board. These are the people who decide what laws we live under and how they get enforced. These are the people who decide whether or not we have voting rights. These are the people who decide how our kids learn. This is how we change things. Personally, I'm alternately furious and despairing that my goddaughter and her little sister now have fewer rights over their own bodies than they did a month ago - there are things we can do, voting in the primary (and the general election) is one of them - here's a place you can go to do more.)