You know how seeing some dance just makes you all happy inside leaving you with the most genuine smile on your face?
Well that was me this past Saturday after seeing ColleenThomasDance at Dance Theater Workshop.
And I don't just feel this way because I love Colleen...
Taking class for the first time with Colleen at Barnard opened my eyes to a whole new way of moving and understanding dance. In effect, she opened my eyes to the endless possibilities of movement and I have always been in awe of the organic yet dynamic flow of her phrases. It always just felt right.
So did Saturday night's performance of her works Winning You With Words (this is how we fall), Jane Can't Connect (aka open arms), and When the earth was flat, it smelled like the color pink, and I believed.
Each work conceived through collaboration between Colleen and musician Christopher Lancaster, somehow reveled in the earnestness of human experience.
The first work, a trio, ping-ponged between spoken and written soliloquies, pillow fights and screams. Referring often to a perfect fall, perfect walk, perfect (insert chosen action here), the irony of these words paired with not-so-perfect movements revealed a struggle within the dancers themselves while trying to relate to each other.
Colleen's subsequent duet with Lancaster introduced song (a live band on stage), dance (Colleen's contemporary solo juxtaposed against Lancaster rollerskating and rocking out) and story ("and the person you can't talk to you have great sex with") separately, only to integrate and connect them in a striking final image of Colleen's bourre-ing feet, lit only by the christmas lights dangling from her skirt searching through the dark to find Lancaster's feet.
The live music transitioned the audience into the final work in which it was obvious that the dancers were happy to be moving and happy to be on stage with each other. Costumed in shades of pink and gray, the cast of six moved easily between pedestrian and dance-y movement phrases and situations suggesting an ability to easily move between reverie and reality.
Each work, though different, were all marked by the comic, absurd, candid, fantastical, real, and pedestrian. As an audience member, it was a delight to see how she and Lancaster developed the movement, music, and text motifs. And as each piece came to a close, it made me happy that I could share in that brief moment of performance.