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Volume 33
Issue 40

 
Monday, Aug 19, 2019 12:51
 

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Disappointing opening performance for On The Boards' season
Disappointing opening performance for On The Boards' season
By Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid - SGN A&E Writer

Sarah Michelson

On the Boards

October 5-9th

Back in 1985 (or so), I got a wild hair up my bum to go and see the Twyla Tharpe dance troupe perform new choreography to the songs of Frank Sinatra, decked out in Yves St. Laurent outfits. This was in Chicago, and it was 80 below zero outside and my then husband (who was also a student on the college newspaper, like me), refused to go with me, so wearing a thin, black dress that wasn't at all up to that weather, I struck out and saw one of the best shows I've ever seen in my life. Why am I telling you this? To set the stage for this review of last week's season opener at On The Boards, which entailed me rushing from my work-out, and nearly missing the bus to get across town to see said performance.

The difference in these two experiences? The aforementioned Chicago jaunt was worth it, the latter performance by what the press material described as 'one of the world's most provocative choreographers' (which is why I went in the first place-I like provocative anything), was less than satisfying. In fact, my friend, Joyce, who accompanied me, encouraged me to list just how many times we said the words 'disappointing', or 'that was awful', but I won't, not here anyway. But it was a lot, let me tell you.

The piece, 'Daylight', introduced itself by having about five dancers, dressed in the weirdest costumes I've seen in some time, doing equally weird motions in the lobby area of On The Boards before the show. Luckily I missed most of this, having been trapped downtown by the latest torture Metro has dreamed up to make us believe we'll actually get light rail someday. But I was treated to the stage show, which I have to say did have some promise as it opened with a small group of male and female dancers brought onto the stage by bright lights and some loud music (played by a band that was located in some sort of cage thing, at the back of the stage).

The very sad part is that this rather fast, bright and loud opening didn't really go anywhere and though the moves by dancers were at moments interesting, chaos took over when audience members turned around, (due to one or two other audience members noting something going on in the back of the room) to find out what the others were seeing-this happened to be more of the unformed dance that had started in the lobby area-and the evening went downhill from there. Between the audience members clomping around (I guess this is what was supposed to be happening, but I was never sure), the uninteresting piece on stage and the whatever that was going on with dancers, (including one in a mousehead that I could never quite figure out), we both walked out with puzzled looks on our faces. Honestly, I miss the days of performers like 'Eiko and Koma', 'H Art Chaos' and an all women's dance troupe from Amsterdam, whose name I can't remember, but who made such an impression on me I haven't forgotten them. All I can say is, I hope OTB isn't planning a whole season of this crap, because I sure won't race across town again to see what I saw last week. For tickets and times, call: 206-217-9888.

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