AUDIENCE REVIEW: Bubble Dreams
Axons Dance Theatre
February 6, 2021
This dance film was a part of NACHMO annual showing. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, NACHMO moved its showings to virtual like most other shows. I was excited when I saw Axons Dance Theatre listed in Program A. I have been following Joan Liu’s work since before ADT was established but this would be the first time watching a dance film of hers. I had high hopes and Liu did not disappoint.
“Bubble Dreams” was a duet danced by Raquel Beauchamp and Saeko (Rio) Hayashi and filmed outdoors. The film started with some bubble shapes, then cut to one dancer dressed in ballet attire with pointe shoes blowing bubbles into the sky. The white background blending into the light blue sky was serene and immediately brought the audience into the surreal dreamlike state. My favorite part of the film was when one dancer slowly lifted a tiny ball towards the sky with the Manhattan skyline as background. The music also came to a pause at the highest moment, as if to imply the Big Apple dream! We then cut to seeing hands playing with that same ball with the sky as background. Then another dancer “caught” the ball from the sky and we were brought back to earth. It was as if I was following the trajectory of the dream bubble. The question asked to the audience after this film was “Are the bubbles dreamy or are we dreaming inside bubbles?”, which I thought was especially clever. I have come to know Liu likes a good play on words which brings the audience into deeper layers of her choreography. I was pleasantly surprised to see that same thought provoking process utilized in her film.
It was wonderful seeing different artists adapt to the current situation. I was thoroughly impressed by the amount of creativity exhibited in this show. Cheers to NACHMO for a job well done!