Going to do a composite for AisleSay.
But here's the second installment for the TheaterMirror
Heather Henson's eagerly anticipated "Echo Trace",
the second offering of the Providence Puppetry Festival at the Perishable Theatre on Empire St. does not disappoint. A hypnotic blend of skillful modern dance movement, abstract object puppetry, motion lighting effects, and a compelling score manipulated during performance by composer, Miguel Frasconi, the evening evokes the origins and development of natural life.
Performed by a trio of dancers, the choreographer, Kristin Miller, and Kate Artibee, the piece begins in almost ultraviolet
light, a dim light in a chrysalis suspended midstage, backed by stretched
white Lyrca screens. A single dancer, Heather, begins a ritual awakening
adding vocalizations to the electronic and live score. Her partners, Kristin and
Kate, enter from the darkness and the dance becomes reminiscent of the
Three Graces (or Fates) which figured in eurhythmics or Duncan performances.
The chrysalis is disassembled in six small petal shapes worn on the back of
their hands. These objects, which become a motif, explore the space as
the lights brighten and move. The shape next appear illuminated triplets
on the ends of rods which the performers use to form an abstract
school of fish. By the end of the show, this shape has appeared as
beaks, giant bird wings, and other manipulable forms, as the trio
forms new life forms singly and as a group. Nick Wisdom's programmed
lighting effects provided stylish variations in the intimate black space of
the Perishable Theatre to effect
The closest the show comes to traditional puppetry is three skeletal
land creatures, who burst from their flower-shells, and dance on small
drums. These are followed by masked four-legged bovines whose endless
circling brings the piece to an end. During the evening, there are
moments of surprise, joy, and sadness. Throughout, life goes on.
While complete as it stands, this object dance drama still
suggests, as it should, a work in progress. One can imagine a second part
when man emerges on the scene.
"Echo Trace" continues through a matinee on Sunday, Oct. 1st. Next
Thursday, Providence's Big Nazo finishes the Festival with a new work in
shadow, sound, latex, foam, flesh & fur, entitled "Rubberneck & Nimrod"
which runs through the weekend.
Third part next Friday