Blue Gumbies and Fierce Women
| ||Photo by Breegan Kearney|
| ||Aya Wilson, Tara Sheena and EmmaGrace Skove-Epes (L-R)|
Nadia Tykulsker and Heather Bregman/Katie Dean split a Triskelion evening
By QUINN BATSON
Nadia Tykulsker/Spark(edit) Arts and Katie Dean/Heather Bregman are both presenting strange visions of human potential and encouraging us to feel uncomfortable while we watch.
The three fierce beastwomen who populate Tykulsker's Sheathings from a Steep Slope Aya Wilson, EmmaGrace Skove-Epes and Tara Sheena bump, jump and sing full-throated, in a surprising and energizing hour. Above all, it is absurd, but there is plenty to chew on in absurdity.
|Choreography by: Heather Bregman and Katie Dean, Nadia Tykulsker.|
Dancers: Heather Bregman and Katie Dean
Tykulsker: Tara Sheena, EmmaGrace Skove-Epes, Aya Wilson.
Sound design by: Justin Frye (Dean), Guillermo E. Brown (Tykulsker).
Set design by: Mike Drake (Dean), Hiroko Ishikawa (Tykulsker).
Costumes by: Hiroko Ishikawa and Nadia Tykulsker.
Lighting design by: Andrew Dickerson.
February 20-22, 2014
The three stomp around, disappear into a large tower of fabric and emerge with mysterious costume changes, usually involving small, sacred/iconic accessories, and begin in a stylish cage of slatted panels, another mystery. After the cage is collapsed, while the panels are being hung on the back wall, Tykulsker and co. distribute tiny religious artifacts/creatures-in-plastic-tubes, like the shark-finned swimmer-insect in mine.
Blue Gumbies and and the entity named "The grand. The grand. The grand. (drop in pitch and tone) The great." are important in this world, somehow. Both bring the Wizard of Oz to mind, but each viewer likely conjures their own references.
|Photo by Kamau Ware|
|Heather Bregman (L) and Katie Dean|
Excruciating balances on one leg, shoutsinging while supine, and Wilson's exploding, fish-breaching-water jumps also stick in mind, and there is both a solemn and a frantic feel to the goings-on, as if these beings are always on the verge of passion while taking their duties seriously.
Whatever the intent or content, Sheathings from a Steep Slope is an impressively physical and conceptual show, and the audience shows its appreciation at the end.
Katie Dean and Heather Bregman have a very different energy, both in their movement (and stillness) and because the music and set are cold and even abrasive. Where Sheathings seemed a study in connection, Here I Am Again Alone Again seems all about disconnection.
Expectation, and its unfulfilment, are the strongest factors here. It's never clear if the two acknowledge or desire the company of the other one onstage, even as they move separately but in close proximity at the end, after having spent the bulk of their time trading solos while the other stayed still.
Dean is a delicious mover, full of spice and surprise. Every movement Bregman does brings sex to mind, probably unintentionally. That combination alone is slightly bewildering, but molasses pacing in combination with loud, often gratingly truncated/chopped music is slightly disturbing.
It's hard to know what to make of things, but the title Here I Am Again Alone Again likely gives the best clue.
|MARCH 1, 2014|
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