Attending the On the Boards 2010 NWNW Festival weekend #2 was slightly different for me than last weekend. Due to scheduling issues, I decided to split the two Showcases up onto different nights. Last night I saw the Studio Showcase pieces and will be enjoying the Mainstage Showcase on Sunday evening. As I said last weekend, I do not consider my role on this blog as a critic at all. I’ll leave that to the misanthropy of the local papers. I am an artist’s booster. I am there, yes, to watch with the experienced eye I have developed over 10 years of attending and being engaged by performance but the “critical" part was already taken care of by the OTB selection committee. I am merely writing today to give a glimpse into some of the shows, help you reminisce if you were there and encourage you to go if you have been silly enough to not go already.
Long-time patron and all-around great guy Shango Los will be coming to see all the showcases in the NW New Works Festival this weekend and next, and giving us his take on the performances. By way of introduction, here's a short bio:
With a background in the visual arts, Shango Los was instantly enamored with contemporary dance after attending the first On the Boards performance by Japan’s Dumb Type in 1999.
West is a magic realism of baggage. West is all places and no place at all, inhabited by ghosts and mirages, fever dreams and deep thirst, outsized characters for expansive spaces. West has limpid harmonies, broken surfaces, collisions of rustic myths and digital manifestations, spaces that defy themselves. West is what a musical might be if it were allowed to go feral. About time.
Morgan Thorson's Heaven provides us with a frozen spiritual. Set against a stark white back drop with floating icicle like beads and glistening sheer curtains on the side, the performance opens with the howl of a wind fan, as the dancers glide slowly in formation across the white floor. As the dancers thrashed against the stages back curtain, the ripples echoing through the fabric were reminiscent of evening winds frequently blowing snow across a frozen lake.
I was healed and delivered tonight at the Morgan Thorson/ Low performance at On the Boards. It was easily my favorite dance performance of the OTB season. I ended the show with a warm smile and cleansed of my transgressions. Don't miss it. You owe yourself something this good. So much of what usually attracts me to contemporary dance are the engaging synthetics of the modern oeuvre. I love the costumes and video projection and experimental/techno/deconstructed soundtracks. I love the intentional hyperbole of it all.