nEW festival: Gabrielle Revlock’s SHARE!
At times Gabrielle Revlock’s SHARE!, which debuted last night at the Drake Theater (Spruce and Broad Streets) as part of the nEW festival, felt like a metaphysical pinball machine. That’s not a bad thing, though. Beginning with a darkened stage and the crescendo of a heartbeat, Revlock worked her way through a string of ideas and miniature scenes that both ricocheted and rolled smoothly.
This feeling of flux, complete with costume and set evolutions, made it hard to understand how Revlock still managed a unified piece. One minute she beeped and churned like a machine, and the next she dangled like a marionette. My favorite incarnation reminded me of some wide-eyed Pixar cartoon. The dancers crouched and peeked at each other through their fists, emulating raised eyebrows with the twitch of a finger (theatergoers were treated to a sneak peak of this thread in a video installation in the Drake’s lobby).
“[The idea for SHARE!] started with shapes,” says Revlock. “If you take movements that have a lot of meaning, you don’t need that additional layer of theater. The shapes read as something on their own.”
The shapes of SHARE! speak of interactions, which Revlock fleshes out through her three characters’ encounters and asides. The three personalities – performed by Revlock, Bonnie Friel, and Gregory Holt – slid from narrating one another’s thoughts, to controlling one another, to moving in unison, to confronting each other, and back again, all within the brackets of Revlock’s colorfully clothed impressions of personality, relationships, and (gasp) good and evil.
Did I mention there’s neon spandex? Ski goggles? An excess of underwear? SHARE! can’t be summed up, at least by me. “Maybe it shouldn’t be . . . trying to do that fills me with anxiety,” says Revlock. “It is what it is.”
SHARE! will be performed again on Friday, and Revlock’s next gig is our very own A.W.A.R.D. Show.
Photo of Bonnie Friel seated on Gabrielle Revlock by Alan Kolc.