Fringe By Numbers: Day Two, "Gone, Gone, Gone"
Day Two: 5:30 p.m. Time Slot
Company: Monica Rodero and Daniel Schuchert
Venue: Southern Theater
Die Roll: 10
Okay! The first image in this production is that of a woman making a large "X" on the floor with masking tape. Once she has done that, she proceeds to dance upon the X. The music she is dancing to sounds like it may actually be some other song played backward (although don't ask me what song, it just had a similarity to what it sounds like when I flip .wav files around in sound editing software). Monica Rodero, from all evidence put forth, is a good dancer who has a good feel for sounds and rhythms that aren't quite standard.
After her partner (Daniel Schuchert) came on stage, a second X was made on the floor, and a motif was set. Tape was the thing holding this show together. The two danced around each other folding a long piece of tape over on itself over and over. At another point they created a dance after tying themselves up in tape, so that the movements they could do were minimal. Another featured a masking tape-based handfasting. By the end of the piece there were four X's and a couple of other pieces of tape about. Paper towels were another item that made it into the show in a number of beautiful ways.
Over the past few years, I have come to the conclusion that while I occasionally get work dancing (less so since I blew out my knee 18 months ago), I still can't write about it as eloquently as one who is really trained in the art. But, what I can do is tell you what I thought as a theatre person, and a regular audience member. Fair enough? So... Here's what I thought. What I liked and disliked, and perhaps even why...
First off, I found one thing absolutely brilliant near the beginning of the program. I've already mentioned how the tape X's and other ways of using tape held the show together. However, I've yet to mention the best way it was used. As a sound effect! Or, really, as a piece of music. One of the dances in this piece involved the two dancers lying on the ground and doing prone dance moves to the sounds of tape being ripped from a role. The piece was probably about a minute and a half long, but it was a really rewarding minute and a half.
There was a sense of whimsy to many of the dances, but it wasn't always funny whimsy. It sometimes was just that odd quirk... more of a funny = weird, than a funny = ha-ha! In the first instance, the dance I mentioned briefly earlier in which the two dancers had their hands tied together by what seemed like half a role of masking tape. Once they were joined they danced as if happy. Over time they grew tired of being taped together. Eventually they resisted being taped together. And finally they managed to get the tape off their hands and separated themselves from each other. It was a novel way to look at the arc that relationships take. I got it. And the tape thing added to it. There were some funny pieces, too, however. The first dance to incorporate a roll of paper towels resulted in what seemed to be a short tale of a woman who can't set foot on the actual floor. She could stand on squares of paper towel, or be carried by the man. It resulted in humorous patterns of movement. Especially once she tried to start picking up the paper towels.
I do have to report (perhaps 'confess' is a better word for it) that I kept hearing a voice in my head that may or may not have been my mother's saying, 'Stop using so much tape! You're being wasteful!'
I genuinely liked this show. There was something intangible that keeps me from raving about it at my highest possible level, but I can say that it is definitely worth going to.
Rating: d12 = Heckuva Good Show
Ten Word Summary: Whimsy and masking tape can hold dances together. Who knew?