Go Deeper

Preview: Postcards from the Woods

Posted August 18th, 2009

Two Fridays ago I had the luck of attending a special preview of Merián Soto’s Postcards from the Woods, premiering at the Live Arts Festival next month. After the jump, some thoughts and pics from the preview event.

Merián encouraged the audience to walk around the piece, but dancers with 20-foot branches are kind of intimidating! Although you can’t tell, that’s me way in the back left corner, taking notes.
Merián says that the final seating plan hasn’t been determines, so when you hit the show, you might be in for a surprise.

The piece opened with dancers towards the corners of the floor, slowly rising with their branches, and ultimately pulling them, or being pulled by them, to the center of the room.

The interaction between dancer and branch was closer to a duet than anything else. The branches aren’t mere props: they’re alive.

And the dancers engaged with projections of scenes from the woods, while a score of forest noises and an occasional David Lynchian hum filled the space.

As the performance progressed, the dancers came together, interacting with each other, and with each other’s branches – quartets?

The performance wound down with dancers whirling their branches about them, eventually laying them down and backing away.

And as the dancers moved away, the projectors cut out one by one, leaving just the slowly ebbing sound of rushing water fading to silence.

Postcards from the Woods premieres at the ICE BOX on September 16, and will be performed five times over that weekend, the last of the Live Arts Festival.

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Photos by Bill Hebert.