You see, Corian Ellisor was recently selected as one of "20 Atlantans to Watch" in 2013, and the performance confirmed how right we were.
As the title might suggest ("It takes a village" is an old African saying describing the communal effort it requires to raise a child), the show focused on domestic and collegial communities: their loving bonds, their language of habit, the support they can give, but also their smothering, delimiting, suffocating aspects. With just a few simple stage elements and a small crew - two male dancers (including Ellisor) and four female dancers - Ellisor's company managed to evoke a number of dramatic effects, creating an hour-long show with a nice abstract narrative shape and a funny, evocative voice throughout.
Most of the action centered on a few simple area rugs of various shapes and sizes that the dancers rolled out at the beginning of the show, perhaps suggesting different rooms of a house, with dancers playing cards at a kitchen table in the back of the large performance space (Dancer Alex Abarca singing an evocative a capella "Home" from The Wiz plainly stated the central, perhaps unfulfilled longing of the show). The work often blended elements of performance art, theater, and dance: Especially well-done was a segment in which the dancers called each other from room to room in a needy, noisy way that's familiar to anyone who's ever lived anywhere with anyone else.
The show opened with a rousing ensemble number, nicely showing off Ellisor's signature athletic style: funky but also elegant, with lots of weight and limb-momentum-driven turns. Since it was the style that opened the work, it would have been nice to see it threaded more throughout, as well, or perhaps re-emerge toward the end. There were several moments of mercurial insight and invention - three dancers walking arm-in-arm, with one or the other always facing the wrong way; two dancers standing on a rug as the others grabbed the corners and rotated it; all the dancers crowded together on a single rug, jostling for position, perhaps posing for a family-style portrait - that could have been explored more thoroughly.
Still, the swiftly moving, joyous show, with its overarching exploration of intimacy's needy flipside of uncomfortable, smothering closeness, proved once again that Ellisor remains one to watch, in 2013 and beyond.
I sincerely apologize for not proofreading.
They are all sociaopaths. Damn good ones at that.
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40 years of food for thought .... very worth reading.