Everybody Know This is Now Here, by Mountain Empire, is a disappointing multi-media performance that takes an exploratory look of female friendship over a year – in both physical and virtual distance – as they drive cross-looking for home in the technological age. Developed by Eliza Larson and Rachel Rugh, the pair dances and dialogs onstage separately of Emily German and Annie McGhee, who were also in collaboration, but who live elsewhere. This performance features dance, film, story and song, and demonstrates how the women communicate through Skype, emails, phone calls, letters, Google Space, or whatever means possible to connect, and to rehearse together when they can.
The staccato-filled dialog with dance opens the scene, and a pull-down screen is the only prop used to tell the story as it originates from Oregon, and across the Midwest where filming is done of rural scenery, highways, beaches, and the occasional trip to someone’s back yard or driveway. Every so often the four women dance together and hope they can pull this long-distance experiment off.
In the case of Eliza and Rachel, their dance is interpretive as they mirror each other’s movements while also simultaneously following the movement of either Annie or Emily. A lot about this performance, given the bulk of it is dance, is about the physical yearning for permanence, a yearning for home.
While I could appreciate the mirroring notion that the duo Eliza/Rachel were trying to convey, what is not always clear is the disruptive changing of clothes, with odd choices of 70s pop music and ragtime accompanying them. More curious is the fact their clothes action makes no connection to their cohorts whatsoever. Curiously, they repeat the beginning movements of their dance and staccato-like dialog toward the end of the performance, perhaps if to make a full circle.
Running Time: 55 minutes.
Everybody Know This is Now Here plays through July 26, 2014 at the Gallery – Goethe Institute-812 Seventh Street, NW. For performance information and to purchase tickets, go to their Capital Fringe page.