Image by Spoleto Festival USA "I Can See Myself in Your Pupil" A male and female's perspective.
Gallim Dance Company's "I Can See Myself in Your Pupil," isn't your typical dance production. Therefore it's only fitting that we don't review it in your typical journalistic style.
Reviewing from a male and female perspective, regular TheDigitel contributor Katie Kozar, and special visiting contributor Spencer Spellman were both fortunate enough to attend this show over the weekend, and here's what they had to say about the show that is quickly becoming one of the most tlaked about shows of the Spoleto season this year.
Katie Kozar, a female's perspective
I was excited to see this show, as I grew up dancing, and the bright colors and interesting choice in music described in the Spoleto program really sparked my imagination. A black dance floor with a huge, plain white backdrop was the perfect unobtrusive setting for the show. The troupe's intention is to "investigate our limitations and pleasures, and the endless human capacity for inspiration," and as the show started off with the dancers wearing muted colors, and dancing to passionate, loud music, it was obvious that the group was exploring their desires in every aspect of their performance, not just in the choreography.
The choreography was incredibly intimate, and was so emotional that I actually cried.
Particularly during one dance, in which three couples, one male and female, and then the otehr two same-sex, performed a heart wrenching set that portrayed the constant push and pull of romantic relationships. at one minute, a lover was digusted and disinterested, the next, he was tripping over his partner, dying to grab their attention. It was romantic, heart wrenching, infuriating and lovely all at the same time. A performance that truly made you think and feel.
The second half was much more light-hearted and fun. It seemed to portray the flirty, fun nature of love and romance. The bright, colorful dresses of the girls, and the funky plaids and print on the gentleman (as well as the tight speedo-esque underwear they wore) definitely set off a different vibe. The eastern music, intense convulsions, hilarious faces and contorted movements expertly portrayed the passion and excitement of the dancers, creators, and the audience.
Of course at the end of the show, in true Charleston style, they received a standing ovation. And I usually don't stand a clap for a performance unless it was truly good. let's just say I was more than happy to stand and clap for the troupe, but what was truly moving was the look on the dancer's faces when they saw the audience jump to their feet. The humility and appreciation on each of these dancers faces was just as moving as their preceding performance. Unfortunately, I feel as though I am not even coming close to accurately describing the vibe and experience of this performance. It's one of those shows you really just have to see for yourself. I fully intend on attending the last performance on Monday evening, and fellow Digitalien Amanda Click loved it so much, she went and saw it two days in a row.
Spencer Spellman, a male's perspective
What is it that makes a performance good? Whether a movie, concert, Broadway show or any other type of performance you can think of. Does it humor? Does it inspire? Does it provoke feelings of love? Is it suspenseful? At least one of these questions is answered with a resounding yes when a performance is truly good. But how about perfect? What constitutes a perfect performance? Often times, perfect performances answer a resounding yes to not just one of these questions, but all of them. Just think back at some of the great movies of our time. Some to throw in the mix can include any of the original Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, The Godfather, Schindler's List, The Shawshank Redemption and the list goes on. Most, if not all, of these title include an element of humor , inspiration, love, suspense, and ultimately, good storytelling. I was recently invited to the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, which is a celebration of the best in art and music from around the world. One particular show came as close to perfection in fine arts as I've ever seen.
As I tell you the type of performance this was, dance, which provoked such as emotion, goosebumps; your appropriate response is probably to scroll back up to the top of the post and make sure you had read that a guy was writing this. As a writer, and therefore what I consider an artist, I like dance. Not like it as in I take ballet lessons, but I have a deep respect for it and recognize it as an outward demonstration of beauty. Yet, I've never been moved by watching dance. However, the dance troupe Gallim Dance with the performance "I Can See Myself in Your Pupil", dances with such methodology, energy and passion.
Each one of the dances, which typically was around 5 to 7 minutes long, told a different story. There was no bulletin or program to explain what the story was. No, it was left with the audience to glean what each story was about. And each story put together a string of element that included humor, inspiration, suspense and passion. Though each had a different international flair, they all featured high-energy and exact precision. During one of the dances, performed to Latin music, the dancers moved in a line, making baby steps across the stage. As they moved, I watched their feet and their turns, and every single time they were completely in sync. The feet of all 7 dancers rose up off the ground at exactly the same time, coming down exactly at the same time. It was at that moment, on the second day of Spoleto USA, that chills from a dance performance ran through my body for the first time. It was also at that moment, that on the second day of Spoleto, I realized that I had probably just seen the best performance of the festival.
An acquaintance of mine once said, "sometimes you have to watch someone love something, before you can love it yourself". The Gallim Dance troupe proved that to their audiences.