[66] HATCH (Birds on a Wire Dance Theatre): Fringe review

HATCH (Birds on a Wire Dance Theatre): Fringe review

Photo credit: Plate 3 Photography

An exciting new company with a promising future, Birds on a Wire Dance Theatre presents a mini-festival of six short world-premiere performances in HATCH. Led by Artistic Director Melissa Rodis, and featuring over thirty emerging dancers, choreographers, and designers, the talented collective (one male, the rest female; some company members, others outside collaborators) explores the lives and concerns of its own Millennial Generation through the latest trends in contemporary dance.

The conceptual mood pieces—part autobiographical, part imagined, all well conceived and beautifully danced—run the gamut of human emotions, capturing the bravado and happiness, the fears and anxieties, of a cross-section of young women in their twenties. Among the most poignant and ethereal of the works, “lost&Found” takes its inspiration from the writings of Anaïs Nin and Greek mythology. Choreographed by Jenna Frome (of WanderLustCollective) and performed with grace and commitment by Nicolle Barrett, Alisa Marie Renk, and Becca Weber, their personifications of isolation/depression, friendship/searching, and empowerment/positivity employ a luminous hoop and shiny silver bands to contrast an enlightened, affirmative attitude with a self-defeating dark state of mind. Rodis’s “Falling” (Public Spaces and Private Thoughts) is perhaps the most experimental and innovative of the six shorts, inserting spoken word into her dramatic piece for five dancers. Each work is accompanied by an evocative soundtrack and lighting (designed by Leigh A. Mumford) that enhance the expressiveness of the movement; collectively they convey the spirit of how it feels to be a woman facing the joys and challenges of adulthood. [The Performance Garage], September 20-21, 2013,  fringearts.ticketleap.com/hatch.

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About the author

Debra Miller

Debra holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Delaware and teaches at Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ. She is a judge for the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre, Philadelphia Arts and Culture Correspondent for Central Voice, and has served as a Commonwealth Speaker for the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and President of the Board of Directors of Da Vinci Art Alliance. Her publications include articles, books, and catalogues on Renaissance, Baroque, American, Pre-Columbian, and Contemporary Art, and feature articles on the Philadelphia theater scene.