“This Land Is Your Land,” by Seattle choreographer Mark Haim, was a hit at the NW New Works Festival in 2010. The piece for 13 dancers had everything you’d want: bright colors, fashion-runway costumes, nudity, wry comedy, and country music. Its choreography was radically minimal: The dancers just walked, but Haim says more with walking than most choreographers can with a whole truckload of elaborate gestures. Tonight’s show, X2, will feature an extended version of “Land,” plus a new collaboration with design team Lilienthal|Zamora. (On the Boards, 100 W Roy St, www.ontheboards.org, 8 pm, $20.)
The photo above is from act two, "This Land Is Your Land." I regret to say that it has less punch than the original, distilled version seen at NWNW in 2010. It's more elaborated, and there are still sharp, bright moments, but it feels a little looser and more sprawling than the original. Still, it's worth seeing.
The photo below is a sketch of the set design for the first piece, which is much moodier and has some stunning light and set design by Lilienthal|Zamora (I'd link to their actual site, but it seems to be down at the moment):
I don't want to spoil any surprises, but the way L|Z realized the sketch above is a marvel—and required trucking in some very large set pieces from Whidbey Island. Their use of tight, carefully controlled lighting changes to make the set itself feel kinetic is kick-ass. They tame light and bend it to their will like a contortionist tames the body.
Also, Beth Graczyk (of Salt Horse) is a helluva dancer. She's got the moves but also the acting to suck you right into whatever she's doing.