Thursday, September 13, 2007

I wanna play.

I first heard about The Game in a New York Times article about the New York Fringe Festival. No one expects Utah to produce anything interesting enough to make it to Fringe so the Times called it out with an air of disbelief.

Recently returned from a successful run at Fringe NY (two of four shows sold out), The Game made its way to the Larimar Center for the Performing Arts at Rowland Hall St. Marks School. (I didn’t even know this place existed.) The show included members of the Rowland Hall St. Marks Dance Company.

Here’s the idea: a bunch of dancers; no choreography; “variety show antics;” lots of improvisation. Combine it all together in hopes of creating a one-of-a-kind dance performance. And oh yeah, one dancer wins in the end by proving him or herself in the evening’s activities.

The result was pretty dang good, thanks in large part to some impressive dancing from some young performers. I was most impressed with the men. I may have seen some of these dancers at a past Pickle Company performance, but they weren’t as good then as they were in The Game. Jersey Rio Riemo stole much of the show with beautiful, controlled movement. He “won” in the end. But Juan Aldape and Graham Brown were also good. Even Chris DelPorto, who obviously comes from the martial arts world, was fun to watch. (Although the slow motion, roundhouse power kicks got old fast.)

Sure, a few scenes dragged on to tedium and some performances felt forced or gimmicky. But overall it was a fun show and served as a reminder that experimental dance is alive and well in Salt Lake City.

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