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… and ten tiny reasons to not go to sleep. Not to mention ten tiny cups of coffee superglued to my chin.
I think this was my favorite night at the Works so far, despite (or perhaps because of) cold rain that forced the audience to snuggle up inside. This is the first time I have ever seen Ten Tiny Dances, and this is probably common knowledge to everyone who’s seen it before, but it is a brilliant concept. The constraints of the tiny stage force everyone to take it up a notch— a performance that might otherwise be mediocre becomes intriguing, and what is already masterful becomes a taut burst of wonder. The best dances last night used the tiny stage to its fullest, in turns sly, provocative, thoughtful and ridiculous. The worst I can say about any of the performances is that they did not take full advantage of the stage, or were simply static dances—but you can’t complain about a concept that means even something boring only lasts a few minutes. The best, in my opinion: Juliet Waller Prusan and Wade Mansen as corporate castaways on a life raft; Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s sublime sex-robot dance-off; Julie Atlas Muz & James Tigger Ferguson in sparkles and body paint, toying with patriotic symbols (literally); and my favorite: Angelle Hebert & Philip Kraft’s as-yet-untitled piece, which culminated in an ax man chopping the tiny stage to bits, forcing Carla Mann’s strange twittering sex-crazed character into an ever-smaller space to perform a truly tiny dance. It was grotesque, gleeful, brutal and clever, and I’m glad I stayed until the very end to see it, even though I was (and am) utterly exhausted. Damn you, TBA! Why can’t you let me sleep?!
- Faith Helma
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