Totally Crushin on Kidd Pivot Oct 24, 2012

by Ella Mahler

Hearts always flutter when someone says the name, "Kidd Pivot." We swoon and dream of these super hero dancers who I swear have more joints than our regular anatomy. 

The Tempest Replica makes your heart skip a few more beats. I realized my jaw was wide open for the first 20 minutes of the piece - and maybe I remembered to breath. Maybe.

Here is why.

Choreographer Crystal Pite has created a world where theatre and dance are so tightly laced and push the capacities of each medium. Telling a story through dance, but telling it in a way that we experience character development and narrative that is clear and compelling. AND tell it in a way that doesn't trade vast physicality for storytelling. Sometimes it challenging for these to go hand in hand. 

But there was no compromise for dance or theatre in this Kidd Pivot world. With fully concealed dancers in all white costumes - including masks - we immediately establish relationships, opinions, and feelings about each of the characters solely based on their movement and embodiment. In this sense, the set, lighting, and costumes serve the dancing in their greatest ways.

As for the dancing itself - like I said earlier. Super heroes. Watching these dancers is sort of like watching gymnastics on the Olympics when you were a kid. You watch them and you swear you could just jump off the couch and do a back flip. That kind of ease and super human ability feels so totally possible when you see them do it. These Kidd Pivot dancers - I guarantee we all go home and slide around on our socks in the kitchen. They make the impossible look totally possible. 

We swoon for Kidd Pivot because of their ability to take all of these elements and make them work together in even greater ways. Each element lives in levels of curiosity, risk, specificity, and directness. To see theatre unfold in such surprising, kinesthetically driven, and human charge is incredibly inspiring. It is clear that Crystal invites and utilizes the intellect and questions of the dancers as well as herself. They explore artistic challenges with patience and clarity, but with fearless rigor. When I see that kind of work, my heart flutters.