FRONTERAS (Almanac): An Homage to Whatshername and A Door in the Desert

Photo by Daniel Kontz.

Almanac Dance Circus Theatre ceaselessly invigorates audiences’ minds through their strength and ability to shape space using acrobatic feats and movement. The most recent work by this unique and innovative company is no exception. FRONTERAS consists of two shows, both of which question ‘limitation’, exposing societal boundaries and challenging physical limits.  An Homage to Whatshername and A Door in the Desert comedically combine these elements for two specific, yet universally driven pieces. Aptly titled, An Homage to Whatsername winds themes of gender and identity through characters and props, testing exclusion and inclusion at every turn. Beginning with a trio, two females and a knit sweater, we are quickly introduced to possession and materialism, further confirmed by the mass amount of collected clothing used throughout the piece (at the end of the evening, the audience was invited to pick through the pile and choose a garment of their own). Following the subtleties of the gender-specific roles and the androgyny of their roles as partners and movers, An Homage to Whatsername leaves us more aware of our personal limits and asking ourselves ‘why those limits exist in the first place?’ A collaboration with Mexican choreographer Emmanuel Becerra, A Door in the Desert deals with boundaries in a much more blunt manner, focusing on the relevance and ordeal of border control and immigration from Mexico. As one man attempts to visit family in the U.S. he is subject to dehumanization and disrespect, a small taste of the reality experienced for so many across the world. Stereotypes are embraced in this work, utilized not to oppress but to gain freedom over the oppression; to take back an identity that is too often stripped away in our society. As Almanac continues to explore physicality, they question the relevance of performance and art in our society, pushing audiences to experience ideas in a different way. While dazzling us with complexities through acrobatics, this work is also highly challenging and demanding, and Almanac should continue to question and challenge the social and political in their exploration of the body in performance. [FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard] An Homage to Whatsername May 3, 2017; A Door in the Desert May 5, 2017;

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