Thursday, February 2, 2012

Joe Goode Performance Group brings "The Rambler" to town

Posted By on Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 10:20 AM

"The rambler is a very American icon," says Joe Goode about his dance company's new evening-length piece "The Rambler," which will have its Atlanta premiere at the Ferst Center this Friday, February 3. "He's the man who comes and goes, who holds some kind of mystery. He's also fiercely individualistic. I think it's a very romantic figure but at the same time a very dangerous figure to base your national identity on."

The show involves lots of dance vignettes, focusing both on the rambler and—as Goode puts it—"on the people who have been rambled." The rambler from the show is depicted as a sort of cross between Clint Eastwood and Siddhartha: a truth-seeker and a renegade. "It's a complex puzzle," he says, "the damage he does as he moves in and out of people's lives."

Music from the show is all original, written by the cast, many of whom sing live to the recorded score. Goode describes his style of movement as very West coast with lots of improvisation and partnering. "It's a way of moving that's very athletic," he says.

The show also features the designs of Basil Twist, the famously inventive New York puppeteer. "It's a deceptively simple set," says Goode. "It's like a lens, an aperture through which you see the action of the show. It's quite beautiful." "The Rambler" also involves a puppet that melds together with a dancer.

The company has made over 25 such innovative works since its inception in 1986, and the company of seven dancers has become widely known for its innovatve combination of dance and theater. "I look for dancers who aren't afraid of being theatrical," says Goode. He loves dancers who can do more than dance, he says, dancers who can act, sing, harmonize, play an old man, if need be. "I love discovering little talents that they have and building on that along the way. We start with a concept and build a work around it."

Joe Goode Performance Group will perform at the Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech on February 3, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. For tickets or more information, visit Ferst Center.

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