GROUP: Throughline Collective
ATTENDED: Fri., September 13, Performance Garage
CLOSED: Sun., September 15
BRIEF SELF-DESCRIPTION: "Colleen Hooper, Julie B. Johnson, The Naked Stark, and Barbara Tait present dance and multimedia explorations of relationships and communities that collapse and intersect."
WE THINK: Broken into four distinct sections, three dance pieces and one short film, Collapse/Intersect is a scattered production in which the execution fell short of the concept. The show is bookended by its strongest two sections: a long-distance choreography project entitled “Keeping in Touch” and “Taking Up Space,” a vigorous five-woman dance. But this structure seemed to accentuate, rather than disguise, the relative weakness of the show’s middle. The video piece, a noble attempt to draw attention to the Free Library Hot Spot at Heavenly Hall in West Philly, was aesthetically handicapped by its major selling point — that it was filmed and co-edited by children who frequent the space.
And even Collapse/Intersect’s stronger moments are sometimes bogged down by too much explanatory material. “Keeping in Touch,” for example, features a projected backdrop of its creators discussing the intent behind their piece — a collaboration that occurred between Milwaukee and Philadelphia in an attempt to challenge the geographic and temporal specificity of dance as a medium. But in hand-delivering this thesis statement to the audience, choreographers Colleen Hooper and Joëlle Worm deny their audience the pleasure of interpretation.
Still, the show is at least in part redeemed by its final performance. “Taking Up Space” is a visually striking piece that often literally enacts the Collapse/Intersect title as its dancers, five women clad in identical red, fall to the ground or move in complicated tandem at an impressive—and aggressive—pace.
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