Unbeknownst to you, Glade Dance Collective knows your identity, your likes, and your dislikes. The dancers are hungry for more data whether you want to give it up or not. Intrigued? Paranoid? Mine/Field reminds us of our desire to know … all the facts … instantly. The minute we put our phone down, we want to pick it back up and google something.
Set in a control room, or lab, or perhaps another planet, the show opens with a sea of emotionless robotic performers moving to piercing techno music. Feeding on data and unable to connect with one another, they transverse the space in a trance. Then, two humans, danced by Emma Dozier and Samantha Sobash, join in moving organically dancing with pure joy and self expression.
The choreography in Acts I and II seems to suggest a movement idea and then move on, evoking an overall sense of disconnection, a portrayal perhaps of the self’s disconnection from the “online self.” It was difficult to find a way in.
In Act II, the dancers publicize the private through movement. This section engaged me, anonymously, bringing up difficult questions like: how comfortable are we with someone exposing our personal lives? And what makes one a freak, thief, or liar?
As Act II transitioned into Act III, a calmness emerges out of the chaos with clear and calculated phrasing. I take a breath and take in the exquisite geometry on stage. The choreography signals us to listen as the performers listen to each other, moving in canon. Falling in sync with one another, groupings of dancers layer movement phrases on top of each other. The 14 dancers moved purposefully across the stage, building beautiful images.
Lighting Designer Adam Bacigalupo creates a stark and cold environment of blue and white light. Act III is a testament to the work and dedication of Glade Dance Collective’s dancers. Their strong direct faces and punctuated movement build a delicious tension on stage. The dancing aligns with the music with moments of dissonance peppered in.
Tackling themes of technology, internet privacy, and national security is no small feat; especially, through the genres of modern dance and live performance. In Mine/Field, there was a clear intention to be intimidating, but I had trouble buying it from the sweet women on stage.
Overall, bravo to Glade Dance Collective!