Kristin Van Loon writes about “Every Other” by Aniccha Arts/Pramila Vasudevan

every other

Every Other” inspires confidence. I work my way towards the dance: a stylish invitation on an irregular polygon of VERY THICK paper, a buzzy scene outside the brewery, friendly ticket sellers, sleek programs. Upon entry, the vibe of the performance space continues to instill confidence. The squares of dancers, their objects, their lightbulbs mirror the square of the room. It’s all so handsome. Clean. Tidy and evenly spaced. The dancers slowly shift their eyes and focus on angles as the audience willy-nillies about the perimeter. A few stroll interstitially. Folded cardboard and fabric piles at the gray-clad dancers’ feet signal potential. In the pre-show calm, there is just a tinge of totalitarian vibe. A low long table supports a tangle of analog-fetish electronic-music-looking stuff.

Although encouraged to move around, I sit. I’m lazy. I can imagine the parallax view without moving. I chose a spot under a staircase guessing it was safely not a choice dance spot. This choice placed me by chance parked at Dustin Maxwell’s feet. The choreography successfully encouraged my eyes to spread to take in the plenty, the gestalt view.  And yet, I couldn’t resist indulging in Maxwell-vision for long stretches. Dustin Maxwell is a wonder. His intricately pragmatic inchworm maneuver outlines the full square perimeter. As he completes the circuit, returning to his lightbulb, he is discretely rosy from the exertion. Much later, he vocalizes while unapologetically dancing fancier than the rest for a spell. His voice and movement are perfectly unified. I could go on and on. Un-ironically I holler “Sage Award!”

Pramila’s gonna get a bitchin’ work sample video out of this. I’m of many minds about the cameras swooping brazenly through the dance. They play paparazzi — bringing a charge of importance to the event. I feel a bit like a sit-com studio audience. Like this is being made for another audience who will see the condensed edit. I suppose they were modeling a roving audience as well.

In a way, this piece works best in memory. I like it best just after, when the clustering and spreading and chicken fights and cardboard and pole fashioning and parading and circling and lightbulb handjives can stack and hobnob with each other.
I like when pole triangles are carried reverently but 1 pole dangles loosely. I applaud Pramila’s performance. I looked to her for signs of “Director’s Anxiety”. You know, the tight jaw or darting eyes of the choreographer trying to blend with a cast while worrying about EVERYTHING. But I saw only even composure from Pramila as I did throughout the cast. I loved the mid-show nap! I loved the figure/ground inversion of audience along the perimeter occasionally sparkling with more charisma than performers (a red sweater here, a purse slung on a shoulder to climb stairs for a new view there). I liked this show a lot. Pramila Vasudevan consistently delivers singular performance experiences. I am a fan.
-Kristin Van Loon

Aniccha Arts/Pramila Vasudevan
“Every Other”
Grain Belt Studios, Minneapolis
May 7-9, 2015

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