by Isabel Echavarria
Holon!, created and performed by Claire Alrich, Sarah Greenbaum, Sadie Leigh, and Meg Lowey, engages the audience in a dance and music-based performance. Rather than conveying a story, the show offers an abstract performance that explores the concept of a “holon,” the existence of separate entities that make up a larger system. This non-traditional participatory production kept me on my feet.
From the moment I walked into the theater, a connection was made between the performers and the audience. Dancers Alrich, Greenbaum, and Leigh ask audience members to participate on multiple occasions. At one point, I helped a dancer with her on-stage costume change, making me a part of the performance. These interactions made both the audience and the performers participants in the show, resulting in an active experience for everyone present.
The dance in the production was accompanied by music created by recordings of Meg Lowey’s voice. The music truly played at the idea of a “holon,” for each sound produced by Lowey was distinct, but combined with the other sounds it created a song. Each song would begin with one rhythm, and would slowly become more and more complex as a new rhythm was added, heightening the intensity of the performance.
Beyond the music, the performers all seemed to have a great time, engaging with each other and with the audience. From the greeting I received when I walked into the theater to the participation of everyone in the room at the end of show, the performers appeared to enjoy the audience from beginning to end, and I thoroughly enjoyed their performance.