Sunday, April 05, 2009

Shame on you for not seeing this

That was amazing. Possibly the single best dance concert I've ever seen*, and I've seen a lot. I wish I'd had the foresight to drag everyone in Seattle kicking and screaming to see this show. You would have turned to me after your 3rd standing ovation, eyes wide and jaw dropped, and thanked me for the best night of your life. And then we would have had way too many pomegranate cosmos to celebrate.

The choreography was stunningly thoughtful; complex without being overdone; and meaningful, down to the last quivering digit. The dancers were virtuosos in their own rights: at times jointless and intertwined; at times syncopated and masterfully isolating movement to one limb, one joint, one cell; and always seemingly on the verge of breaking their necks. The effect was poignant and surreal, hilarious and heartbreaking, tragic and hopeful. It was life.

And that is precisely what the piece was about: a commentary on the way we deliberately build our lives, our relationships, our homes; the way we keep going, even when our construction proves shoddy; the way we deny the rot in the wood and look away when the floor falls out from under us; the way we forcibly dismantle our goals and our dreams, salvaging what boards and nails we can, and start over.

Ah, life. We're all trying so hard, and none of us really knows what the hell we're doing.

The lights go down. The show is over. And there is silence in the theater. Finally the applause begins, and grows as the dancers retake the stage. My own standing ovation is tardy, only because I am still too stunned to move. That. Was. Amazing.

Choreographer: Tanja Liedtke, who died in 2007. Poised to take over the dance world as the new artistic director of the Sydney Dance Company, she was out for a walk in the middle of the night and was struck by a garbage truck. She was 29.

Title: Construct

Performers: Kristina Chan and Paul White (who were part of the original cast, and collaborators with Tanja on the choreography); Alessandra Mattana (who danced Tanja's part)

Sound: DJ Tr!p

Venue: On the Boards

*At least since the last show I saw at On the Boards. Kidd Pivot rocked my world last November. On the Boards is my hero.

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