Miniball: The Other Gardeners: Lying Fallow

Very Good Dance Theatre

March 31, 2024

55 minutes

$25 GA; PWYC from $10

FringeArts Map

Performance at 7pm 

The Other Gardeners is a multidisciplinary dance theatre performance created collaboratively by Very Good Dance Theatre by and for Black artists and/or those from African lineage. This work premiered as part of Cannonball’s Miniball festival in April 2023, came back to Cannonball in the fall as a BIPOC New Work Track recipient, and now returns a year after its inception to reflect on rest, rejuvenation, and reflection. Gardeners playfully (re)imagines what remains of Eden after its more popular residents (Adam & Eve) have moved on and stands as a reminder that paradise cannot be destroyed – only lost. During this iteration, Lying Fallow, the titular characters explore their own stories as gardens to be tended to, revered, and intentionally not “harvested” for consumption. Through an intentional physical embodiment of these stories detached from the burden of self-(over)explanation, Lying Fallow liberates us from the myth that others must know our pasts in order to hold us in the present. The Other Gardeners is a Black queering of our origin stories, both a prequel and a sequel, and in this iteration acts as live co-authoring of the auto-biographies we’re crafting together.


Content advisory: For mature audience. Contains nudity and mentions of anti-Blackness and transphobia.

Very Good Dance Theatre is a queer led, BIPOC centered, collaborative collective of artists that play with the ideas of what is dance, what is theatre, and what is “good”. We work collaboratively, devising movement and text with each other, to create work somewhere in-between the scope of dance, theatre, and performance art to explore, experiment with, and expand what performance can be and do, while questioning what gives it value and why. Very Good Dance Theatre was founded by Colby Calhoun in the summer of 2018, appearing on stage for the very first time at FIT Underground with Elephant Antonyms. Afterwards, we returned to the Festival of Independent Theatres (FIT) as a part of the 2020 festival on the mainstage with The 1st Annual Gay Show which featured 5 queer performers of color and devised their personal stories into a beauty pageant of sorts which revealed the failures, the dangers, the pain, the beauty, the triumphs, and the diverse truths of living as a queer person of color in America. F.A.G.S. went on to be featured as “Best Physical Theatre of 2019” by Frank Garrett at TheaterJones, showing the power of pushing boundaries and affirming our passion for the work we had just begun to make. Our work has always featured voices from the margins of our society while telling stories that are meant to uplift these communities, ask questions about why our world is the way it is, and start conversations about what we can do and must do for one another.

Since 2018 Very Good Dance Theatre has been asked to return to a virtual version of FIT in 2019, selected to participate in AT&T PAC’s 2020/21 Elevator Project Season, was chosen amongst the first cohort of Artists In Residence at Arts Mission Oak Cliff in 2021, was selected as a Cannonball 2023 BIPOC New Work Track recipient, and was recently awarded a residency at The Painted Bride. Very Good Dance Theatre continues to make work as an independent theatre group through festivals, residencies, and other opportunities like this.


Miniball is happening March 28 – 31 at FringeArts!

Over Easter weekend, Miniball boasts a brave lineup of encore and seat shaking new performances with over a dozen offerings under one roof. Witness groundbreaking original shows in a cutting edge theater. Enjoy marvelous moments from classes and immersive art to late nights and drag brunch! Dwell in a spirit of community with the return of Philly classics like Scratch Night and the After-Hours Cabaret. Plus, we’ve got surprises! An Easter Egg hunt runs all weekend with prizes inside. Just like Cannonball, we’ll keep the conversation going around the fire pit while you dance your heart out. And don’t miss the special offerings slated for Sunday the 31st.

Tickets begin at $25 (sliding scale) including PWYC. Act soon because seats go fast!

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