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Dancing with strangers in the audience

Wednesday, Aug 8 2007
This being California, we have all come across pieces of "art body exploration" that seem more like "orgy" in the offing. What sets this gathering apart is the specificity of what Seattle-based company Body Research appears to be getting at: What would happen if, instead of pulling away from that stranger you brushed up against on the street, you allowed that contact to be the instant beginning of a greater connection? If the idea of coming into even partial body contact with perfect strangers makes you cringe, then this show is not for you. But if you are at least curious about a performance that blurs the line between a formal show and an improvised group exploration, then there is much here that will appeal to you. The main disappointment in all this is that the average audience member seems all too eager to jump into the game when given the chance. In their hands, the real-world boundary that Body Research is trying to test the edges of melts into pretty but unremarkable modern dance between performer and willing audience participant. Yet the moments when genuine unexpected connections are formed are something startling and strangely beautiful to behold.

About The Author

Molly Rhodes


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