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    2018-2019 reviews:


    Carrie Ahern in Sensate in Re-Views: Sensate and Mad
    Photo by Julie Lemberger
    Carrie Ahern in "Sensate"


    Carrie Ahern's "Sensate" and Faye Driscoll's "There is so much mad in me"


    Carrie Ahern's Sensate has gone from a large, airy space full of wood and church pews to a stuffy, inactive bank vault on Wall Street, and now feels like commentary on money, security and insecurity.

    Dancers: Sensate: Carrie Ahern, Donna Costello, David Figueroa, Kelly Hayes, Anne Hege, Jillian Hollis
    Mad: Nikki Zialcita, Tony Orrico, Michael Helland, Jesse Zaritt, Adaku Utah, Lily Gold, Lindsay Clark, Jacob Slominski, Jennie MaryTai Liu
    Music by: Ann Hege (Sensate); Ian McIntosh, Michael Wall (Mad).
    Sound design by: Brandon Wolcott (Mad).
    Set design by: Jay Ryan and Carrie Ahern (Sensate); Sara C. Walsh (Mad).
    Costumes by: Naoko Nagata (Sensate); Machine (Mad).
    Lighting design by: Jay Ryan (Sensate); Amanda K. Ringger (Mad).

    Related links: Sensate
    14 Wall Street (Sensate)
    September 18 to October 3, 2010
    DTW (Mad)
    September 22-25, 2010

    At the subway exit, the entrance to Wall Street presents a fortified checkpoint, apparently guarding real people and real buildings from unknowable threats. Since the stock exchange contains no actual money to steal but is even more heavily guarded, the question becomes, "are they guarding a concept or a building?" With the vast majority of trades now being performed by offsite computers, I wonder if the stock exchange building is essential or symbolic. Things get even murkier upon entering a fairly impressive bank building and being directed to a disused, unimpressive area of the basement that used to contain things of value. Heavy-as-a-truck vault doors look stuck in the floor and ridiculous. The movements, migrations and performers are pretty much the same as before, but now the shivering and shaking of the dancers seem like reactions to loss of money, or to the losses of concrete, physical connections to money and other people, in our increasingly virtual, computerized world.

    Nikki Zialcita, Tony Orrico, Michael Helland, Jesse Zaritt, Adaku Utah, Lily Gold, Lindsay Clark, Jacob Slominski, Jennie MaryTai Liu in There is so much mad in me in Re-Views: Sensate and Mad
    Photo by Yi-Chun Wu
    Nikki Zialcita, Tony Orrico, Michael Helland, Jesse Zaritt, Adaku Utah, Lily Gold, Lindsay Clark, Jacob Slominski, Jennie MaryTai Liu in "There is so much mad in me"

    Both the joy and sadness of the piece come from watching dancers full of muscle and body, in close contact with each other and yet seemingly out of reach to us audience, even though we could reach out and touch them anytime if we chose to break our voyeur bonds. The performers play with this proximity, too, brushing audience members or stamping the ground inches away from us while doing solos in the upstairs freakout room. Layered, shifting music of sound fragments and live-recorded vocals, sung and designed by Anne Hege, is haunting, and continually builds and crests over time, in very long waves of sound.

    Faye Driscoll's There is so much mad in me was a huge artistic success this spring and came back for a rerun at DTW. Though this piece, too, is largely the same as its first go-round, a different energy, a different audience, opening night — or other factors — all make a re-viewing feel different. The magical stretching and blending of time I remember from the first viewing is hard to feel again. The darkness of evil, that seemed to always lurk, this time feels less ominous or present; assaults seem less real and less dangerous, and subsequent wounds are lighter, making the quiet, wound-licking portions shorter and lighter as well. Adaku Utah's Tyra Banks/Oprah/evangelist preacher shines as bright or brighter, and Jacob Slominski's mass hostage-taking is just as powerful and disturbing, and the song that Lindsay Clark begins singing still gets more and more beautiful as the entire cast gradually joins, but much of the rest of the show doesn't register the same way it did the first time. Please read this to get one impression of the first time and, hopefully, one that some newcomers share as well.

    SEPTEMBER 27, 2010

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