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Friday, March 30, 2007

Farther Out at On the Boards

posted by on March 30 at 13:20 PM

Crystal Pite Kidd Pivot.jpg

That is the iconic image On the Boards has been using for its 2006-2007 season. It’s from a dance piece called Farther Out by the Vancouver company Kidd Pivot that is playing now as part of a split dance bill with another Vancouver company called MovEnt. It’s pretty great.

(Although “split bill” has always seemed like a weird term—especially on OtB’s current marquee, which reads “Split Bill Dance.” Which sounds like a chorus line of injured ducks.)

Farther Out is, nominally, about an astronaut who is assaulted by an alien. It’s also about telling the same story several different ways. It’s also about a writer (the astronaut) in front of her typewriter, wrestling with an idea (the alien). There is a great looped and fucked-with voiceover by Annie Dillard. There is a typewriter suspended from the ceiling that the astronaut spins, then releases, then dances beneath. The alien moves like an alien—with the stop-motion specificity of a bird or a breakdancer—and the astronaut moves like her whole body is moonwalking.

There are surprises. There is tap dancing. There is intellectual and emotional content beneath strange, beautiful, can’t-stop-watching-it choreography. It’s theatrical and smart and fun.

Kidd Pivot.jpg

Surge by MovEnt, was very good, very competent, though not nearly as imaginative. But the three ladies on stage worked hard, chugging and thrashing and kung-fu kicking like human dynamos to the sounds of trains and pianos and machines welded together into strong, sometimes unsettling, rhythms. (By Alan Brodie and Gordon Cobb.) As one audience member put it: “It’s like George Winston meets Rammstein.”

It looked like this (but with only three dancers):


It’s fine. It’ll make you want to get some exercise. But Farther Out is the one you’ll remember.

RSS icon Comments


What in the name of Jerry Brightonhammer was that all about?
I dont' know but it doesn't make sense to me.

Posted by JerryBrightonhammer | March 30, 2007 2:48 PM

Dance is dull. Dee You Elle Elle. Lots of nice photos and elaborate text can't make up for that.

Posted by Joe | March 30, 2007 5:35 PM

"Farther Out" may be the most tedious thing I've seen at On the Boards since Laurie Anderson performed there a few decades ago. It was as pretentious as it was uninteresting, a shame since the dancers had some real skill. "Surge" had some solid choreography and was enjoyable enough but its tonal shifts from painful struggle to good-natured silliness and back undercut whatever intentions might have had. But don't let me stop you from seeing it.

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