Body Logic and L’anarchiste at Sugar Space

Watching Body Logic’s at Sugar Space is, for me, an experience of nostalgia.  Their evening “Convergence” reminds me of college, both my university experience, and the feeling of college as described in the movies. You’re stuck in the town where you grew up or went to school, but you’re still young and reckless enough that anything is possible. You know what I mean even if that never described your life.

It’s not that these dancers, or the band L’anarchiste, who join them onstage, are immature. There are some fierce professionals at work in this charming hodgepodge of a show. But there is also a charming willingness to try things without taking them too seriously, an agreement in the air that there’s time for everyone to get where they need to go. I didn’t realize that feeling was missing elsewhere until this show made me think about it.

I think that the models we use to present dance in Utah are changing. And that’s a good thing, too. Body Logic’s tactic–– collaborating with a popular local band–– is one I hope we see deployed more often. Not everything the company tried tonight (February 21) was wholly successful, but the small scale of each experiment–– the length of a pop song isn’t too long–– and playful tone of the show sustained interest with facility.

The opening number “Samundar” by guest choreographer Michael Garber made impressive use of the space, impinged upon as it was by the presence of the band. There’s a dual pleasure in seeing this large group of women running between each other in an indiscernible pattern–– it’s visually satisfying, but it also reminds one of the feeling of navigating such a space one’s self, and metaphor flows from the vicarious experience of navigating a crowd. I felt that I too, was leaving behind some static person or object to join a throng of public movement. (Garber will present his own collective again at Sugar Space on May 15-16.)

Guest performers from Porridge for Goldilocks (who share with Body Logic the talents of Amy Freitas) performed a simple, open ended improvisation, which was introduced as such by band leader Robert LeCheminant. Nathan Dryden, Amy Freitas, Keanu Forrest Brady and the blonde guy who was sitting next to me during much of the show are excellent and very different in extemporaneous performance. Clearly, they weren’t doing much other than sharing what must be a very regular practice of dancing together.

That Body Logic and Porridge for Goldilocks are still negotiating what they are going to be in the future is clear. But if they continue exploring with the same sense of serious play I saw tonight, their work can only improve. Maybe they’ll keep working with L’anarchiste, and develop a more profound relationship wherein the choreography informs the music as opposed to vice versa. Perhaps they will learn to use video in a context that underlies, rather than interrupts, the flow of an evening. Wherever they end up, I hope they continue to be as in love with the act of dancing as they seem to be now.

Samuel Hanson regularly contributes dance writing to loveDANCEmore as well as SLUG magazine.