“When the present and the future disappear, the past feels like a place to visit…” ~ Nichole Canuso
In the wake of the loss of her mother, dance artist Nichole Canuso, in collaboration with director Suli Holum, creates a moving memory map to express and explore the collection of memories left to her. Upon the stage floor in the black box theater at Theatre Exile, Nichole employs masking tape and chalk to recreate shapes from inside her childhood home, including the piano her mother played, a window in a corner of the house, a very cute hump of a hamster in a cage, and other key furnishings. Feelings, thoughts and discoveries are traversed through succinctly devised movement across assorted spatial effigies along the path of remembrance as her story unfolds.
Interwoven sound, original music (Michael Kiley), and specialized lighting (Maria Shaplin) illuminate and reinforce the flow of the piece. A heart-rendering audio recording of Nichole interviewing her mother is shared, as well as Nichole’s recollections, though the dancer’s stylized choreography evokes when words cannot convey. At one point in the production the lighting dims by degrees until nearly all is dark and the action becomes so still that the impression made is palpable. However, all is not darkness in this show, as many bright, humorous moments poke their way into the overall scheme—as in life. Through their unique artistry, Nichole Canuso Dance Company imparts a different way of looking at loss, living, and love.
[Theatre Exile,1340 S. 13th St.] September 6–10, 2019, fringearts.com/event/sneakers/