FROM OUR LIVING ROOM (Birds on a Wire Dance Theatre): Fringe Review 74

An intimate half-hour of interpretive dance, FROM OUR LIVING ROOM by Birds on a Wire Dance Theatre comprises five original pieces—four duets and one solo—choreographed and performed by the all-female members of the emerging company. The themes of the experiences, emotions, and inter-relationships of these women, and, by extension, of all women, were inspired by a combination of personal encounters, memories, and imagination; their performances are supported by dramatic music, simple but effective lighting, and the domestic furnishings of a sparse set and informal audience seating, creating an appropriate homelike environment.

Kate Abernethy and Rachel Icenogle rehearsing “Little Red: an improvisation” in FROM OUR LIVING ROOM by Birds on a Wire (Photo credit: Plate 3 Photography)

Kate Abernethy and Rachel Icenogle rehearsing “Little Red: an improvisation” in FROM OUR LIVING ROOM by Birds on a Wire (Photo courtesy of Birds on a Wire Dance Theatre.)

The eight dancers express a variety of moods through a range of compelling modern movements and impressive partnering, including fluid lifts that appear effortless. All display excellent control and athleticism, as the choreography evokes the ups and downs of life: falling, stumbling, but getting up again through mutual support (“Being Upheaval-ed” by Megan Mizanty and Caitlin Bailey); moving from psychological darkness into the light (“Little Red: an improvisation” by dancer Kate Abernethy and live cellist Rachel Icenogle); the pain and uncertainty of relationships (“So, what are we?” by Mary Stickney and Victoria Vardilli); the stress and joy of being an expectant mother (“Before You” by the very pregnant Melissa Rodis!); and the hauntingly beautiful examination of female existence (“From you I was, and am strung” by CrystalNicole and Caroline O’Brien, danced to the soundtrack of My Brightest Diamond’s “She Does Not Brave the War”). The show, which ran for only one date, was short but impactful. [Headlong Studios, 1170 S. Broad St.] September 20, 2014; .

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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.