Last night I went to see Palace of Crystal by Suniti Dernovsek (choreography) and David Stein's (visual design) performance company, Bobbevy. This is a talented group with a distinctive style and it is always a treat to see what has emerged from their collective efforts.
The Piece featured the movement of Keely McIntyre, Richard Decker, and Jessica Hightower who opened with faint smiles and pastel colored clothing that matched the shade of a surrounding backdrop of clustered crystal sculptures. The smiles of Decker and McIntyre quickly became mockingly perfect as they froze for brief moments into stereotypical photographic poses. At this point in the performance it seemed that these two dancers represented the physical side or surface of humanity while Hightowers movements, ranging from tranquil to desperate, showed the spiritual truth to the situations. If this was an intentional theme though, it did not last. Instead Palace of Crystal unfolds as abstract and multidimensional. At times seeming to parody itself, while other times sincere. It develops into a sort of new age myth to the backdrop of electronic beats and computer animation. The choreography is for the most part highly polished and deliberate, but there are also frantic moments of movement that (at least it seems) could easily be different each night. These are the holes poked in the jar, the moments where beads of light shine into the cave and where perfection is allowed to slip into something broad and uncontrolled. Overall, this is a very human narrative, but it is certainly not spoon fed to you. It will require you to chew and digest and process what is being presented. In the show program there is a quote: "Man is a seeker. He dwells amid shadows and seeks light" (Sri Ananda Archarya) which mirrors the performance. Palace of Crystal places you in the dark and hands you a candle, the rest is up to you.