Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Valence explores the psycology of touch through dance.


I thought I had sketched every dance company in town, but Explore Theatre and Dance Company from Winter Park presenting Valence at this year's Orlando International Fringe Festival was new on my radar. The show began with the entire line of dancers walking in slow motion towards the audience, then an elegant and solidly built female dancer pivoted at a 90 degree angle to the stage grid. What followed was dancers balancing and supporting each other in a slow abstract choreography. Bonds seemed to form and then break apart.

Between scenes audio recordings would showcase a dancers insecurities, doubts and accomplishments. I kind of dreaded these audio prologues since I couldn't sketch in the dark and I didn't have anything for my hungry eyes to soak in. When the lights came up, each dance was fluid and focused on relationships and isolation. It seems like isolation always won in the end. I loved that not all the dancers where thin. Every imaginable body shape and size moves in fluid elegant ways. Even the dance company's founder,  Chris Gonzalez, is a solid brick of a man who is willing to experiment and take chances. I love sketching dance despite the challenges, so I was a kid in a candy shop. You might notice that sitting in an audience is not my MO. I like being on the outside looking in, a voyeur to the whole theatrical experience. Perhaps that is why I identify with the theme of isolation in the show.

Remaining Show Times:
Thursday May 21  7:00pm
Thursday May 24, 7:00pm
Run Time:
60 minutes

Venue: 
Red  (behind the Shakes, 2nd floor)
Rating:
13+
Tickets: $7 (+ service charge)

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