HYBERNATE (Gunnar Montana): 60 Second Review

Photo by Garrett Matthews

Photo by Garrett Matthews

Gunnar Montana presents a jaw-dropping winter wonderland that is part art installation, part theatrical dance performances in HYBERNATE. After his sold-out BASEMENT (see Phindie’s review here) at the 2013 FringeArts Festival, Montana brings audiences less guts and more fantasy in this latest exhibition.

Made of heaps of shredded paper, plastic bags, and tarp, stunning snow queen mannequins and textured snow piles almost reach the ceiling. Hooks dangle all over the room, used in sexy, cheeky dance numbers involving lots of glitter and a pair of high heels. Props go swinging towards crowds of people watching from whitewashed seats.

There are dancers as white-cloaked temptresses. The climatic moment is donned upon all as the stunning snow queen comes to life right out of the set, and is gloriously crowned.

Fused with recordings from Jerry McGuire, a Lady Gaga interview, and even Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, audiences are blasted with quotes about love. The unstoppable power such a feeling has to take over and speed up time vibrates through a beautifully drawn-out embrace between Montana and his love muse.

There is a flurry of contemporary dance combinations that will capture and dizzy even the most familiar with Montana’s outrageously bewitching choreographic style. Twirls with skulls and a monstrous snow bear leave those watching the fervent winter storm asking where love lives when it’s left out in the cold.

Is love that is left ever truly lost, or does it simply go to a mythical snow cave to HYBERNATE? This show leaves audiences wondering. [The Latvian Society, 531 N. 7th Street] March 6- March 15, 2014.  http://www.gunnarmt.com/hybernate.html.

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About the author

L. Haber

L. Haber is an Associate Editor at Elauwit Media, in Haddonfield, New Jersey. She is the 2012 winner of the WragsInk poetry contest, a former intern for Philebrity.com, and keeper of the personal blog lahaland.tumblr.com. If you are interested in working with L. Haber, learning her first name, or meeting her Saint Bernard, she can be contacted at lahab5@gmail.com.