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AUDIENCE REVIEW: The Child Likes the Word
Shawn T Bible/stbdance
March 10th, 2015
The first thing I want to say is that the description listed by the choreographer in the program has nothing to do with what I saw. When I read the description I was kind of depressed because it sounded really wordy and pretentious. Kind of like one of those descriptions you see for a piece of art at a museum. I'm happy to write that the dance was pure greatness. The description lead me to think that I was going to see a bunch of people rolling around on the floor and pretending it was dance. What it turned out to be was about a girls school filled with a bunch of not very nice girls or I guess I should say, normal girls who were figuring things out on their own with minimal supervision.
The opening moment was spectacular. The dancers were all facing the audience on separate sides kind of mouthing words like parents do when they are trying teaching their kids to speak and then it jumped into a love affair between two of the dancers. I went to an all girls parochial school and my first kiss was with another girl. Basically we practiced everything together that we would have done with a boy. That's what the next section was like. Soon the dance jumped into a party sequence where some of the girls were trying to be cool without showing how excited and scared they were while another pair danced how they really felt. It was really delicious how each dancer had a very defined character down to the their facial expressions and the way that they moved. They all had their own tics and quirks. Even if the dancers were wearing bags over their heads you would have known who they were and recognized them by the way they danced. This was further enforced by the very rigid all black 'girl day school uniform'.
It really is funny to me how perfect this piece was for me. I had no idea when I decided to try this concert out. I just kind of picked a day and went for it. The ending was heart breaking. That is where you saw the real vicious nature of mean girls come out. The main character or at least the most vulnerable character was played by a fantastic dancer named KP Pollock. What I loved about her was how honest and plain she was in contrast to the other dancers. Her dancing was just as acrobatic and skilled as the others but her expression was like a kitten who was trying to figure her way out. You could tell that the other girls knew what game they were playing but KP Pollock's character could only wear her heart on her sleeve and was picked on for it. In the last part of the show they are all in class and the other girls are teasing KP Pollock, then they all mixed it up in this sort of passing through the hallways criss cross and all of the dancers left KP Pollock behind and alone onstage. It was the perfect example of how mean kids hurt someone the most by deserting them. Sometimes the worst form of bullying is not even acknowledging that a person exists. I say that as someone who lived through that and who relived it in that performance. I have to admit that I ran into the rainy night after the show and did not look back once. I wish that I could have stayed for the second show but I was so affected by what I had just seen that there would have been no way. It is probabaly strange to say that I loved it even though it upset me so much but I did.
I loved it and am grateful to the choreographer for putting it all out there with such purity. The only thing I would change is his description of the work. Maybe that was his way of faking the audience out though. Describing his process and not saying anything about what the piece was about so that we could walk away with our own understanding. I don't know why he did it and it doesn't really matter because the end result is that it was a great show filled with great dancing. Thank you for that.