- Blaine Truitt Covert
- Click! Patrick Kilbane's performing in "Rothko."
Tonight the Northwest Dance Project resumes their holiday show "In Good Company." Surprisingly, you can still get tickets! Surprising, because it easily sells out (seating is limited), and, because it is awesome. The show features music culled specifically from the year 1973, including all the classics: Stevie Wonder, Cher, Paul Simon...Richard Nixon.
The show is choreographed by the company’s dancers and, as usual with their holiday show, is performed in NWDP’s studio space on Mississippi Street. The first piece on the docket is "Love and Negotiation." Elijah Labay starts the show by marching down the aisle that bisects the audience; he hits the stage in tall red stockings and (RED VELVET) hot pants. It’s silent. Eventually Labay says, in a deadpan, stilted, art-performance-y way, “Do YOU know, the, Muffin Man? The, Muffin Man?” In the small space of NWDP’s studio, it’s not just about movement; you’re so close to the performers, the show is almost as much about acting and expression as it is about dance, and Labay is especially great at this. Basically he looks like a silent film star, making wide eyes, corny smiles, coy glances. Soon enough the sweet sounds of Paul Simon kick in, and Labay is joined by five more dancers, who prance, march in place, and do occasional zombie gestures, including that hiss/growl thing that zombies make.
Also in the first half of the show is the piece "Mangia! Mangia!," which is great and notable, namely because: (1) it features "Crocodile Rock," although mostly because (2) the dancers pair off for some delightful duets: Elijah Labay and Ching Ching Wong and Julia Radick and Viktor Usov pair up. It’s so playful; Labay and Wong are especially a dynamic duo—Wong is such an athletic and energetic mover. As a sidenote, if you’ve ever seen an NWDP, you already know, they’re technique is great (two of their performers have received the prestigious Princess Grace Award), so the fact that this is true of "In Good Company" seems to go without saying.
In short, "In Good Company" is cozy and spirited, which I mean in the least twee way possible. That being said, towards the end of the show, I had the sensation that I'd been nestled inside a snow globe the entire time. This was due in part to the *ahem* snow happening, outside. Also, the mirrors in the dance studio cause a kind of self-awareness; also, every once in a while, people walk past the studio, hear the music, and stop and gaze inside (you can see the shadows of the top of their head through the window—this was a lot less creepy than it sounds, and a lot more cozy, and oddly kind of comforting).
"In Good Company" resumes tonight at 7:30pm, and will run each night of this week, through Sunday. Go on and get your tickets, here.