|Photo by Theo Cote|
|L-R: Jordan Morley, Emily Pope, Kyle Marshall|
Surviving the Damage Done
Tiffany Mills makes Moors of La Mama with
After the Feast
By QUINN BATSON
After the Feast is the strangest title for Tiffany Mills' newest dance, but this head-scratching title does reflect the overall feel of the evening. Feast is equal parts sumptuous and mystifying, even if food is the last thing it brings to mind.
Though the stage is shrouded in smokemist mainly as the audience enter, there is never a time in After the Feast that feels fully free and clear. This mistiness is delicious, though; it imparts a distinctly Medieval, moors-of-Shakespeare flavor. An excellent cast Mei Yamanaka, Emily Pope, Kenneth Olguin, Tiffany Mills, Jordan Morley and Kyle Marshall feed this feel, too, as does an alternately burly and gentle soundtrack by Jonathan Pratt. To put it broadly, After the Feast feels like a more interesting, more nuanced take on Medieval conflict and drama than the popular HBO series Game of Thrones, probably because no one onstage speaks. We have only the body language of the dancers to glean the story.
|TIFFANY MILLS: AFTER THE FEAST|
|Choreography by: Tiffany Mills.|
Dancers: Kyle Marshall, Jordan Morley, Tiffany Mills, Kenneth Olguin, Emily Pope, Mei Yamanaka.
Music by: Jonathan Melville Pratt.
Set design by: Dennis O'Leary-Gullo.
Costumes by: Mary Kokie McNaugher.
Lighting design by: Chris Hudacs.
Dramaturge: Kay Cummings.
|La Mama Ellen Stewart Theater|
May 12-15, 2016
Longing, anger, strife, healing, accusation, exhaustion and strength are a small sample of what the story holds. The men and the women form distinct groups with distinct roles yet manage to coexist pretty well. Characters of each sex take turns leading or losing the affections of the group. Obliteration and resurrection seem themes. And the movement is lush and varied, martial and tender.
|Photo by Theo Cote|
|Mei Yamanaka and Tiffany Mills|
A sturdy, possibly battered, back wall serves as the only stage element, and this is enough. Mills does use the vertical space of La Mama's space well, too, having characters enter from above the audience as if coming down quietly from the surrounding hills. Darksoft light by Chris Hudacs and evocative costumes by Mary Kokie McNaugher complete the painting.
So many small moments stand out, but the beginning and end are masterful. Mei Yamanaka drifts down, confused and stumbling, from behind the audience as things begin, setting our minds running even before the others enter. And the end has her standing regally on Emily Pope's shoulders as the group shuffles slowly downstage, until Pope crumbles and the lights go out to create another mystery as Yamanaka falls.
|MAY 15, 2016|
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