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WOW, Look at That 

Wednesday, Jan 24 2007
I've been writing about and frequenting the Women on the Way Festival for the last three years: It's one of those performance jubilees that gets bigger and better each time. But I do hope it'll outgrow its modest stomping grounds and three-weekend limit someday. WOW features dozens of local and international women in the performing arts, and it invariably consists of bizarre and poetic pastiches that encompass a universe of genres. It's hard to contain all that talent, but at least this year the three weekends are segmented into themes: circus, original collaboration between dancers and composers, and guided installation. The first two held incongruent treats like cheeky pranks with cowgirls and hula hoops and dance set to the tunes of minimalist maestro Philip Glass. The final weekend covers "performance sculpture," which is to say, it straddles the line between dance and the visual arts. While groups like the Black Stone Ensemble serve up Butoh-inspired meditations on the perilous nexus of body and technology (iHuman), Sha Sha Higby luxuriates in the slow revelations of Noh Theatre and shadow puppetry. In Higby's Glass in Ashes, exquisitely sculpted costume-props made from materials like bone lacquer and silk leaves weave unspoken narratives around ideas of femininity, birth, and ritual. Even if you've been lectured about "not appreciating the moment" or (even worse) accused of "not being grounded in your body," it'll make you consider the spaces you inhabit in a new way.
Jan. 11-28

About The Author

Nirmala Nataraj


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