Choreographer: Arrie Fae Bronson-Davidson
Reviewer: Adrienne Sowers
An exploration of power, identity, form, and gender take shape in a surrealist dance experience at Dixon Place in Arrie Fae Bronson-Davidson’s Wonder/Through the Looking Glass Houses. A linear dance piece based on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass, the fantastical and surreal world serves as an evocative backdrop for expressive contemporary dance and expressive movement.
The ensemble work and physical talents of Arrie Fae Bronson-Davidson, as well as Cecily McCullough, Dara Swisher, Chloe Markewich, Brittany Posas, Miss Cherry Delight, and Meghann Bronson-Davidson drive the piece forward. The specificity of intent resonates throughout each carefully crafted moment. Moments of interaction with the audience are well-earned and create a stunning sense of performative intimacy.
Arrie Fae’s storytelling comes to vivid life against powerful red-and-white imagery, heavily color-saturated lights by Rob Lariviere, and a repertoire of standard and current popular music and instrumentals. Bodies in space challenge the status quo and unflinchingly hold a mirror to the trappings of ego. The experience is singular and compelling, and challenging to the limits of traditional aesthetics. Not all audiences will immediately find familiar comfort in Wonder/Through the Looking Glass Houses, but the strength lies in the verfremdungseffekt, alienating yet familiar, disquieting yet comforting. Like Alice, this play is many different sizes in a very short time, and it reaches compellingly daring heights.
Runs until 17 December 2016