Bodies in (Public) Space

This dance work morphs, mixes, and disorients constructs of what's typical and atypical in movement

Exhibitionism

Bodies in (Public) Space

Various locations, starting at South Congress at Monroe
www.hydeparktheatre.org
Final performances: Saturday, Feb. 1, 1pm; Sunday, Feb. 2, 3pm
Running time: 45 min.

South Congress and Monroe, Saturday, 1pm. We were lined up against the building behind Cap Metro's sleek new bus stop, watching four black-clad performers: one folded at the waist over the railing, one crouching behind it, one raising one crutch toward the sky, one staring at an imaginary watch. None of us were waiting for a bus. We were waiting to see what happened next, and the performers were waiting for our contexts to expand enough to let them in.

It happened, via the slow, subtle changes in their vignette, familiarity being the great leveler. When you repeat a word over and over, it loses the sharpness of its meaning, freeing you to notice its sounds, its qualities, your accent. When typical body positions, movement qualities, and utterances cohabit long enough with atypical ones, the sharpness of "difference" weakens, broadening what we effortlessly accept. Bodies in (Public) Space, conceived by Lucy Kerr, morphs, mixes, and disorients constructs of what's typical and atypical. Kerr's performers – whose first rodeo this was not, as most of them practice and perform mixed-ability dance with Body Shift (a collaboration between Forklift Danceworks and VSA Texas) – were intense and open.

When they left the bus stop, we followed, in a sidewalk trek that scooted by tables at Güero's and cruised by the interminable queue outside Hopdoddy, all the while disarranging locomotion and the language associated with it. Pauses for movement exploration and rule-breaking – dressing in public, crumbling muffins, sharing apparatus – suggested someday-freedoms from the constructs of "normal." Wishes aside, it still felt trite when an able-bodied performer appropriated the movements and behaviors of disability. What's most interesting is not what's different or the same, but what is new.

READ MORE
More FronteraFest 2014
Change of Venue
Change of Venue
This year, FronteraFest is takin' it to the streets – and a chapel, a bookstore, a home ...

Robert Faires, Jan. 10, 2014

More Arts Reviews
Trinity Street Players’ <i>Dani Girl</i>
Trinity Street Players’ Dani Girl
This musical may be about a child with cancer, but seeing it is a funny, moving, and healing experience

T. Lynn Mikeska, May 26, 2017

<i>Butcher Holler Here We Come</i>
Butcher Holler Here We Come
This stylized look at West Virginia miners trapped underground is more of a powerful sensory experience than a narrative drama

Elizabeth Cobbe, May 26, 2017

More by Jonelle Seitz
Ballet Austin's <i>Alice (In Wonderland)</i>
Ballet Austin’s Alice (In Wonderland)
In which the young heroine grabs those wild wonderland reins

May 19, 2017

2017 Austin Dance Festival
2017 Austin Dance Festival
This year's showcase of two dozen dances proved how Austin's dancing has risen to the level of its dance making

April 7, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Bodies in (Public) Space, FronteraFest 2014, Lucy Kerr, Body Shift, Forklift Danceworks, VSA Texas

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)