Tuesday, June 27, 2006

American Dance Festival: Provincial Dances Theater, Wings at Tea (2001)

I enjoyed seeing this Russian troupe, Provincial Dances Theater, a year or two ago at ADF, and remember the extended performance that they gave that was set in a forest in the Russian countryside. Tonight's performance, Wings at Tea, was consistent with the style I had seen earlier - music and mood reminiscent of rural Chekov-era Russia with quirky dance seeming almost anachronistically contemporary, yet working to create a harmonious affect.

A flying pig kept hanging over the stage; in Q&A afterwards, the choreographer Tatiana Baganova explained that she saw this toy in a Paris store and that led her to ideas that formed the basis of Wings at Tea. Dancers interacted in a comical storybook-like manner. I found it very interesting how a large spring-like form served as a cocoon a few times during the performance; three dancers would slowly make their way into the spring and rest there. Near the end, several male dancers each had a bucket of water; each of their female partners would put her long hair into the bucket and throw her head back, projecting water and hair in an interesting curvilinear throw.

Subtly off-beat, the performance grows on you as you almost forget that the stylized theatre is rather unusual - even the flying pig becomes norm. It was an interesting show, and I look forward to seeing what Tatiana does in a month for her commissioned piece for International Choreographers.

Note: I believe that the dance Wings at Tea was created in 2001, but the printed program lists it with a date of 2002.


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