Review: Source Festival 2016: ‘Crossroads’: Artistic Blind Date

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Plunk yourself down upstairs at the Source Theatre to take in a state of mind; one of dreams and dissonance. Let yourself be open to three creative artists who bring forth dream states at the cusp of wakefulness. Be ready to experience what lurks in their REM state; and might lurk in your own.

 Britt Sankofa, Roo George-Warren, and Jane Rabinovitz. Photo by C. Stanley Photography.
Britt Sankofa, Roo George-Warren, and Jane Rabinovitz. Photo by C. Stanley Photography.

What is it? It is Crossroads, a Source Festival Artistic Blind Date created and performed by a trio of gifted folk who separately and then together probe through movement, text, music and Dada-like multi-media:

into dreams exploring the imagery, environments, and sensations that rule this ‘other’ world” as the marketing material notes.

If you are not yet familiar with the concept of the Source Artistic Blind Date – it is experimental theater, about 25 minutes in length, by creative artists from different artistic disciplines.

Crossroads is about that moment when we are in transition from sleep, dreams and wakefulness. It is part of a Source package that takes off from the full-length play Ballast by Georgette Kelly.

In the case of Crossroads, the artists are DeLesslin George-Warren, Jane Rabinovitz, and Brittney Sankofa. They conjured a spirited, energetic, often compelling, sometimes charming, sometimes discordant set of connected scenes. What they have stitched together is a world of their own dreams and nightmares that literally exposed themselves to strangers; their audience.

Stepping into the upstairs Source space we see only chairs. But soon enough, we are in much more than an empty space devoid of much interest. Jane Rabinovitz with her dance/movement background with Northern Virginia’s Gin Dance Company moves about with a muscular athletism, even bouncing off cinderblock walls.

Brittney Sankofa, with her videography background, uses well-presented text and video to draw us to her tales of sexuality and living in an urban environment.

DeLesslin “Roo” George-Warren with a work background in literacy issues and artistic installation had the audience peer into the abyss of a seemingly isolated far away island with a dungeon. It’s all conveyed with his spoken words and movements.

Together, with a soundscape, the trio used a few props to give a sense of not only movement, but of being shackled singly and together. One humorous video sequence was greeted with well-earned laughter. It was about hitting the snooze alarm to try to return to recapture a vivid dream.  Another video brought the audience to sit forward on their chairs thinking about a woman’s travel by Metro bus.

Roo George-Warren, Britt Sankofa, and Jane Rabinovitz. Photo by C. Stanley Photography.
Roo George-Warren, Britt Sankofa, and Jane Rabinovitz. Photo by C. Stanley Photography.

The Crossroads performance lets dreams be seen and felt as it gathered up momentum. It could be either a tasty prelude to one of the full-length performance that it precedes, or a starter course for an evening with friends on the way to eat and enjoy the nightlife on DC’s 14th street. And that streetscape has become a flanuer’s fever dream.

But wait! After the 25-minute performance, the trio of artists returned to delight the audience with such winning, charming personalities as they described how they developed what they did. I mean, they were right there, on the floor, just answering lots of questions without an ounce of guile or fakeness. It was a tutorial into how to do a post-show. They simply connected easily with the wide range of folk asking the most personal of questions.

Remember their names. I have a feeling you may be hearing more about them in the future.

Source-Festival

Crossroads played on June 15, 2016 at The 2016 Source Festival performing at Source – 1835 14th Street, NW, in Washington, DC. Performances continue on June 19th at 3:30 and 7 PM, and July 2nd at 3:30 and 7 PM. For tickets, call (866) 811-4111, or purchase them online.

LINK:
DCMetroTheaterArts’ reviews of Source Festival 2016.