Interweave Dance Theatre’s Memories, Dreams, and Reflections hits a lot of high points. From its rich theme to the well-thought-out and referential costumes, this is a strong and considered collection of works. Dancers were of varying levels of accomplishment, but the singleness of purpose shone through so clearly that this was rarely a distraction. I would like to address the singularities of each of the fourteen segments but, in the interest of avoiding any spoilers and preserving the reader’s patience, I will attempt to condense some of the key underlying threads and apparent motivations of the performance as a whole.
As might be expected, dreams and dreaming loom large as inspiration points. The viewer will recognize familiar elements of anxiety dreams and the absurdist edges of the dreaming experience. More than once, I felt that the many dancers on stage represented the machinations of one primary mind, as if the audience were granted an exclusive glimpse into the subconscious. During the Post-It piece, it seemed that this primary mind was attempting to organize her prominent and wayward thoughts or impulses. The individual dancers or “thoughts” illustrated her limited success by sometimes coordinating with each other and sometimes following their separate, squiggly paths.
Though dealt with in several pieces, the struggle to form and represent the self and identity is perhaps most clearly described in Self Incomparable. Memories and dreams, along with experience and desires, go a long way toward creating what we understand as personality. Each person must decide for her- or himself which of these to support and maintain. Too often the world external to our bodies, composed of other troublesome folks with whom we have a shaky agreement as to shared reality, impinges upon this decision and negatively affects its natural growth. Of course a positive affect is possible as well, but it is the triumph of the inner world that is being applauded in this work, not the doubtfully helpful input of others.
The journey of this performance is also the exploration of its process. Self and separate, group and interaction, sharing and preserving are all woven together in an imperfect and very attractive tapestry. While the concepts behind the works are effectively realized– creating the journey in which the audience may share– the dancers’ self-deprecating commitment to this journey reveals the sturdy, collaborative underpinnings– the process– that led us to this point. Often, the honesty of the dance work made me feel as though I were privileged to see the art as it was being made, rather than simply performed.
While the ideas we’ve discussed here may seem heady, if I were forced to describe the performance in one word, I’d choose “fun!” Dance is many things, and what has been made of it here is very enjoyable to watch and, indeed, participate in. The dancers were not shy about infiltrating the audience, and the audience seemed to be just fine with that. As I’ve said, there is too much artistic goodness in Memories, Dreams, and Reflections to laud in one short review. You’ll just have to see it for yourself (and if you miss the live performances, you poor sap, get creative and find an echo of it in a company-sanctioned recording!). And try to reconcile what your eyes see with what your brain understands in the super-smart piece Dream Girls.
About Jane E. Werle: With artwork and writing published by Bombay Gin, Hot Whiskey Press, Wyrd Tree Press, Summer Stock, and her own imprint, Thirsty Lizard Books, Jane is a passionate proponent of creativity, self-expression, and the pursuit of elusive and meaningful beauty. A poet, educator, and longtime nanny, she works and explores with kids, challenging young minds and safeguarding young hearts. Jane graduated with an MFA in Writing and Poetics from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, and has come up with no compelling reason since to move away from the lively Denver area and its admirably self-made cultural opportunities. Contact Jane with editing needs, parenting problems, and extravagant travel writing proposals.