H3 - there's never the snapping when you want it Jan 29, 2010

by Stephanie

'It's about the movement in relation to the space not just the movement for movement's sake.' That was what my friend Josh said after several conversations we had about Bruno Beltrao's H3. I liked the group better than the parts, I never let go of the sound of the sneakers on the marley and I desperately wanted them to go into a West Side Story snapping bit, but alas twas not to be. I was intrigued, confused and had I not just seen several performances of the dance troupe 'Groovaloo' in New York City recently, I would have felt very differently about this piece. Groovaloo has that American entertainment/appeal to the masses with spectacular stunts and tricks vibe...where Bruno's guys, who use similar moves and energy, felt grounded, genuine and felt like I was intruding on rituals, caught up in something I shouldn't see, but happened to be there so I saw it anyway. Danny, a previous blogger, puts this show into perspective quite succinctly: "What Bruno Beltrao accomplishes to create is an engaging study of intimacy within a genre that is traditionally battling bravado." It felt like a symphony with parts, an ode with odd stanzas, a duet that desperately calls for the chorus to save it and turn it into another part of the meal.... I loved the energy, the athleticism, the backwords running is amazing. What Danny, the aforementioned previous blogger, said about the lighting design is all true. It was an asset to this minimalist movement and made the ending particularly powerful for me. What could be better than sweaty, shirtless men, breathing hard, walking towards you then looking up to the world they know as the group becomes one and yet stays apart? While I appreciated the show, i didn't love the show. The dancers are amazing, the lighting was effective, the parts were better than the whole, the use of the space was fantastic, but I wouldn't necessarily want to tell all my friends about it. Go see it, but be prepared to hear lots of sneakers on marley and try to keep West Side Story out of your mind, trust me on this one... Stephanie Farhood