Alaska Nov 6, 2009

by Tania Kupczak

I'm glad I didn't read anything about 'Alaska' before seeing it. I didn't know what to expect; I had no expectation or background or assumption. What I found was four people, not characters or dancers or performers, but people. They each felt the need to MOVE, vigorously and frantically. They moved with an incredible sense of control, and yet they all seemed out of control. There was no clear message, meaning, story, purpose, or throughline to what I saw onstage, even when the beautifully ethereal music (performed live) was added to the mix. If someone in the audience thought they knew 'why' the people were moving the way they were, it's my belief that they were making their own meaning as a viewer. But in that vagueness onstage, I felt a calm passion rise and fall inside me, the pleasure of emptiness, the release of my need to understand. The pushing, pulling, writhing, throwing, catching, slapping, kissing, and running all existed in a strange and blank place, and I was completely fine with that. After the show, I read the program notes. Apparently, that is exactly the kind of place they were trying to create: Alaska. If this sounds like something you'd even remotely enjoy, go see this show before it's gone! - Ben