Go Deeper

REACTION: Dada von Bzdülöw Theatre’s Factor T

Posted September 6th, 2008

Dada von Bzdülöw Theatre’s Factor T is an exhausting portrayal of wanting what one can’t have, inspired by the writings of Polish novelist, philosopher, and poet Stefan Themerson. Performed in an empty black box on the third floor of Christ Church Neighborhood House, the audience includes four half-hidden dancers—two men, two women. With no apparent cue, they leave their seats, and begin.

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The work starts with a curiously dazed conversation, both between the dancers’ bodies and with the audience. Dreamy and detached, the dancers survey each other and their surroundings. Brief glances and fixed, intentional stares between dancer and observer riddle the piece, heightening tension and intimacy.

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At times, just inches from the quartet’s poised bodies, the audience’s array of reactions seem to eventually fuel two dynamic pas de deux. One pair expresses sensual concern, with slow, assisted movements, while the other is a beautifully choreographed fight.

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What starts free and unbuttoned gets dressed (literally) to a chaotic montage, with period costumes and striking characters. A flirty flapper, bewildered citizen, prophetic gentleman, and disciplinary mistress take the stage in the second half of the work, absorbed in their own identity until forced to interact with another.

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From quirky moments of flirtation to those of painful revelation, Factor T is daring, but always with a sly smirk. Throughout the piece, the dancers evoke magnets, at times attracting and opposing each other, with seemingly no voluntary ability to control themselves. The work culminates in a circus-like frenzy, with each character’s restraints having been gradually loosened until only impulse remains.

Factor T leaves its audience stunned silly and out-of-breath – art at its most effective.

–Ali King

Click here to learn more about Factor T.