Monday, May 20, 2013

Fringe, dis|CONNECTED

Larissa Humiston of Emotions Dance Company asked me if I would be up to do a cameo appearance at her Fringe show titled dis|CONNECTED. I needed to show up at the Silver Venue at 8:30PM on the first evenings performance and she would fill me in at that time.

In a world full of technology meant to bring us together, why are we still so detached from the people around us? In dis|CONNECTED, Emotions Dance will explore the forces that cause us to disengage and the eternal ties that remain, pulling us back into relationship with one another and allowing us to connect within ourselves.

Larissa greeted me and walked me back stage before the performance. I was to walk center stage about midway through the show and two dancers would dance around me.  It sounded simple enough. As I waited to go on, I sketched. The dancers only had a few minutes to stretch and warm up to perform. The venue opened and I noticed people making their way to the seats. Terry was in the audience and she reported that there were perhaps 25 people there. Fringe producer Michael Marinaccio had earlier explained that the first night of Fringe was usually the slowest. He had scheduled all local acts the first night figuring the performers could drum up an audience of friends and family via social media. The dancers lamented that it would be depressing if there were more dancers than audience members. A reviewer could be in the audience however so they needed to give it their all.

The lights blazed and the dancers were on. I could only see occasional legs and arms from my position in the wings. The black wing curtains fractured my view. Besides I was still working on the sketch of dancers stretching. The song, "Addicted to Love" came on and Larissa nudged me on stage. I walked center stage still working on my sketch. Two dancers began a high stakes cat fight over me. I raised an eyebrow shrugged and returned to my sketch as they clawed at each other and competed for attention. I heard laughter in the audience so I suspect the moment was entertaining. The dancers flew off stage still fighting leaving me still standing center stage sketching. When the lights blacked out, I walked off stage. In the wings the dancers gave me a high five.

Seeing dance from the wings is entirely different than watching as an audience member. I have a renewed sense of awe for how hard these women work. When they come off stage they are completely spent and gasping for air. They have only a few minutes to recover before they have to go right back out again. Between dance numbers dancers walked around the stage holding signs that had life affirming notes and doubts much like the woman who announces boxing rounds. One piece had audio of boxing and sports coaches talking about athletes who have to give their all and then push even further. That is standard practice for Emotions Dancers.

Monday May 20th at 8:00PM
Thursday May 23rd at 9:15PM
Friday May 24th at 11:15PM
Saturday May 25th at 12:45AM
Sunday May 26th at 2:15PM
Silver Venue at the Rep
$11 plus a Fringe Button

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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