NW New Works Studio Showcase (from Mars!) Jun 11, 2011

by Eric Pitsenbarger


The nature of human wondering and the existence of a full blown experience, simultaneous to that of an ant as it crawls along the edge of an infinite universe is rather the cumbersome subject.  But to have a lilting, sweet mid-western drawl, swirling about on the microcosm of picnic checkerboard posit deep questions of what is reality, disarms. Explained in eloquent, generous and personal gesture, it's like having Dorothy Gale ponder the great mysteries of life. The synchronicity of all things, the possibility of alternate existence, that space and time are meshed within an ever undulating sea of paradox are as simple as what's pulled from a picnic basket and what is reflected in the wide, wondering eyes of a child. Kate Sanderson Holly's wide, watery child-like eyes are pools into which a universe meanders, expands and contracts...where reality contradicts itself and is also perfectly correct. This life: it's what you make of it...and also what you can imagine.

Try to Hover (or Private Practice 7)

Being insane never looked so beautiful. You can see the influence of Spectrum Dance Theater in the precision and control of these long limbed, Grecian Deities as they writhe and co-mingle within a story of being kindda nuts. Couture, tear-away hospital gowns, acrobatic balancing on hard benches, their artfully bruised arms and legs balletically reaching and then splayed, trapped within a prescription bottle nightmare. The ice blue of their costume, their pale skin and wane, half-lidded personality and cold demeanor of knife-like movement has the effect of being numbed by powerful novocaine. Violent expression dulled, but nevertheless roiling under the surface of a drug induced stupor.

When You Point at the Moon

The built-in nostalgia and deep magic of a disembodied puppet head means instant theater for me. Bringing focus to what's created out of thin air (in this case a boggle-eyed observation of projected sounds), helps illustrate what's played out on the microcosm of this stylized, shabby-chic window box. Tickled by a manipulated mannequin hand, flipping fingers coaxing space occupied by buzzing mosquitos, roaring trains, delicious ker-splats and terrific explosions, the ironic presence of repeatedly disappearing and reappearing puppeteer Kyle Loven nicely dovetails tonight's first piece. The abstract space we all occupy. The magic found in everyday and 'invisible' things. Imagination is a powerful tool.

Are You Still Hungry?

The performance began in the set-up. Erecting a window box of plastic sheeting, weighted by chains, hoisted on pulleys and fastened to the duck-taped sheet covering the stage, three women discreetly dressed in demure white then enter: The Zone. That they've carried in a dinner table now set with a bottle of red wine, plates, cutlery and a heaping bowl of pasta leaves little doubt of what happens next. A Matrix-like movement collage through the designs of dinner table etiquette digressing into a big mess. Faces in plates of pasta, wine spewed and staining once white dresses, hand-fulls of noodles flung and gobbed all was a cathartic safe food fight. Yes, I am starving!