The first time I thought I’d reached the seminal moment of beauty within Evolving Doors Dance Company’s Sum of Your Parts was an exciting, entrancing experience. Dancers moved through their own seemingly mapped areas but were simultaneously fully aware of the bodies and journeys around them. As organs, individuals, parts, they were clearly distinct yet wonderfully interdependent. Each was alone, separate, but not at all isolated. All were necessarily connected. (Annabel Reader’s lovely costumes cleverly reference difference and similarity in their individual touches.)
About ten minutes later, I realized the awesomeness was still building. Sum of Your Parts is a very well-paced experience that I appreciated through segments. The first was a welter of impressions, a morass of individual concerns. Following movements zoomed in on a part here, two or three interacting parts there, and a very special exploration of give-and-take that had the two differently-abled dancers reflecting each other’s unique dancing. As acceptance, collaboration, and sympathy gradually replaced frustration, suffering, and loneliness, I had a real sense of growth and development that culminated in a fullness of being. Have you ever struggled with your body? Have you experienced pain, difficulty, or a lack of physical response when your mind is quite sure that one is desired? What watchful, kind space could the mind provide for the body, facilitating reconciliation?
Dancers speak in this piece, challenging the viewer to participate on varying levels. The dancers themselves interchangeably represent the mind, parts of the body, and Body itself. At one point there seemed to be a great need to rest, which was sometimes briefly indulged before activity was powerfully resumed. This felt like the body speaking. “What sympathy is there for the constant demands placed on me?” There is also an occasional video component which is surprisingly subtle while directly illustrating the spoken subject. I saw tangled, rainbow intersections of neural impulses, and such a close, tender view of a beating heart that I questioned my own initial assumption of what I was seeing.
When in full ensemble, a very strong presence was communicated by the dancers of the company. Individual impressions and concerns were clearly detailed in a context of potentially confusing overlap and intersection. To be human is to feel. What developed through duets, a stunning solo, and intriguing group work was a clear call to expression. In borrowed words I say, “Connection is Empowerment.”
Performances of Sum of Your Parts:
Oct 25 & 26 at 7:30pm at the Dairy Center for the Arts located at 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, CO 80302. Nov 8 & 9 at 7:30pm at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theater located at 119 Park Ave. West, Denver, CO 80205. For more information visit www.evolvingdoorsdance.com.
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.