Excerpted from thINKingDANCE. Republished by kind permission.
In Tender Buttons, her book of (some would say nonsensical) prosepoems, Gertrude Stein wrote, “A large box is handily made of what is necessary to replace any substance.” A theater is a large box. The Performance Garage is, certainly—even more than some. But what is necessary? In NECESSARY EFFORTS, the mixed-bill production by The Naked Stark, the answer offered is the work of making.
What substance did these necessary efforts seek to replace, or represent, or refer to? Or did they purposefully not so seek? In Beau Hancock’s Mooring Field, he tethers two dancers (Marie Brown and Melissa Chisena) to each other, to the center of the stage, to repeated movement phrases, and to the study of the three esses: syntax, specificity, and stamina. Shannon Murphy’s solo work, City Bird Sings The Car Alarm played upon the art of burlesque, beginning by batting fake butterfly lashes to the rhythm of mockingbird song. In Stranger Shells, Megan Stern meanders through a short searching solo with waltz-like phrasing and melting floorwork. In Invisible LUs seven women are eventually edged out of the performance space by the chairs they set up. Read the full review on thINKingDANCE.net. [The Performance Garage] September 12-14, 2014; fringearts.com/necessary-efforts.