Taking seats in a circle around the stage we are each handed a dentist cup-sized offering of currant juice as a welcome drink. The lights lower as what sounds like chords nursed from a sitar accompanied by drums take over and repeat. Electronic sounds and low light backdrop remains throughout the performance, giving all a feeling of a dream state. At times the shadows are spiced by artificial fog delivered by a somber black clad woman circling near the seats who in another circumstance might look like she is an exterminator.
The six dancers clad in interesting abstract motif design leotards don sheets that might also make you clamber to quickly remember that Charlottesville doesn’t exist in Denmark. They soon appear to take poses of an icy landscape. The dancers’ forms move slowly under their bluish hue of white blanket, eventually breaking off into separate islands of movement. The icy landscape appears to be melting down into the ground.
Though there is nothing in the program notes that says the theme of STATE is the state of our planet, this opener so looked like a snapshot of the polar icecaps melting that it framed for this writer all that followed as being an interpretive dance of a book like The World Without Us.
In the foggy mists, this writer’s reverie on our planet’s fate continued throughout. From the white ice melting scenes the dancers don and move interacting with their dramatically power-pleated skirts that evoked both zebra patterns and flora wonders. Later, they climb on each others shoulders in brown and white patterned throw covers that make them look like mountains, and as the score thunders this writer thinks of volcanoes.
Apparently, from seeing nothing in the program notes that explains this as intent, this is clearly the dreamscape of one audience member only. In the low lights and mostly electronic soundscape, it’s likely most of us are seeing or dreaming something. Though the program notes liken it to a folk dance for the future, the only thing that feels folk dancey—at least to this writer—is the tight stitching of music and motion.
MCA Hosts Fashion Textile Event-- as Much as Dance
Many also will likely revel in the costumes, especially when the dance erupts into Whirling Dervisher moves that allow their patterns and, personalities to take center stage and jolt you into a more awakened state. In the MCA Stage setting, New Yorkers of a certain age will remember how exciting it was back in the day when fellow Scandinavian Marimekko set up shop next door to MOMA, allowing you to do a double header feast of fashion textiles and modern art in one quick trip.
Go for the fashion feast.
February 8 and 9 - 7:30 pm
Sunday, February 10 at 2 pm
Edlis Neeson Theater of MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art)
220 East Chicago Avenue
Tickets can be obtained at the MCA Box Office, or by phone at 312.397.4010 or via the MCA website.
Photos: © Anders Lindén
Ingri Fiksdal: Diorama, a related event, is free to attend and takes place at Cloud Gate in Millennium Park from Monday to Wednesday, February 11-13, at 4 pm