Sunday, September 20, 2015

Project606 Dance at Elgin Fringe Festival

Seven identically-costumed dancers filled the stage at Imago Studios Saturday in a performance of "Things That Look Like Other Things" at the Elgin Fringe Festival.

Throughout this 45-minutes suite of three related works, internal and external forces powered the movements of the ensemble, beginning with a single-file summation of childlike gestures. A scene of dancers seated on chairs as though in a classroom matured into a fanciful ballroom atmosphere in which the chairs were swung and embraced like imaginary partners, then dropped.

Project606 Dance performs at the 2015 Elgin Fringe Festival.
Photo by Scales Off Media.
The search for individual identity connected the middle sequence as four dancers alternately synchronized as a group, then separated into individual expressions, and returned to the group structure again. At times, duos and trios seemed to be embracing and resisting each other at the same time, evoking the universal experience of coming of age within and without a family.

This study of human relationships would not be complete without addressing the individual in society, and thus the dance developed ideas of cooperation/competition, giving/taking, and leading/following with beautiful and eloquent forms.  Themes of salvation came in and out of focus as images of baptism and rescue. The chair device reappeared in the finale as the dancers expressed ideas of caretaking and support. 

A Fringe Festival is an excellent place to sample a variety of art forms, and this piece offered an accessible, coherent concept that was easy on the eyes and the ears—a great fit and welcome addition to the program.

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