A work not of art, but of craft
KC Fringe Festival
KC Fringe Festival
The Dust, we are reliably informed, is "a multi-media exploration of contemporary myth and belief". In the dance excerpts that are being presented here at the Fringe, we are given a small glimpse at the end result. We are given some incredibly skilled performances by the quartet of dancers, but very little that may be called an exploration of ideas.
The performance consists in the main of four dancers, taking individual and collective turns to perform works of modern dance. The music throughout most of the show is extremely abstract--one might almost say orchestrated static, with words and half-caught phrases slipping in and out, just beyond the reach of understanding. The dancers are all extremely good at what they do, and there is some superb physicality and technique on display here.
Problematic at times in modern dance is the issue of communication. To express an idea through movement is a tricky proposition at times. When one is only presented with portions of an overall work, shorn of their original performance context, it is doubly likely that overreaching ideas will be sacrificed. This reviewer has always believed that art is a communication, a process, in which ideas are given from one to another by means of craft. Sometimes, the process breaks down. The performance was enjoyable enough, but we as the audience are never brought into this world. We are never quite shown the way into the universe that Dust inhabits, instead more or less left to our own devices, to follow along or fall behind.
The Dust is a production of the Core Project of Chicago, a group which declares itself dedicated to "pushing the boundaries of storytelling". Always a noble goal, this. I am sorry I am not able to see a full performance of Dust, or of their other works, as it may give a more complete idea of what is being accomplished. As to the snippets on display at the Bolenger center, I can only say that perhaps you will find meaning where I could not, but if you go in not worrying about what it all means, and take it at face value as a display of virtuoso modern dance by a group of very talented young people, then you will not go away disappointed.