08 Fringe: “Wicked Dreams, Pleasant Nightmares”

To close my Tuesday night at the 2008 Indianapolis Fringe Festival, I walked down to the American Cabaret Theatre to see Motus Dance Theatre’s presentation of “Wicked Dreams, Pleasant Nightmares.”

This is a beautiful, and humorous, dance piece that also tells a story: a young girl falls asleep and wakes up.  Within that deceptively simple story, layers and layers of her subconscious are revealed.  It is a pleasurable adventure.

Before I forget, this show features Katie Bacone, Lauren Beirne, Kindra Hunckler, Christina Maley, Melissa McInnis, Megan Quiring, Katelin Ryan, Becky Silveus, Debra Silveus, Stephanie Squint, Vanessa Stowers Flora, Jolene Whitcombe, and Sara Yanney-Chantanasombut.

It was directed and choreographed by Debra Silveus and Vanessa Stowers Flora.  The stage manager is Michelle Forkner.  The music is by Boards of Canada, Four Tet, lowArt Productions, Tortoise, and Stung Tongue Productions.

Some of the dancing includes headstands, held for a very long time!  Some of the dancing involves moving around and over three black, stackable boxes.  Some of the dancing includes a flash of nudity.  I bet that every human being has dreamt of being inappropriately naked at least once in her (or his) life.

I bet that every human being has received puzzling sex dreams from her (or his) subconscious, too.   I had to grin at the dancers’ interpretations of the Girl’s alarm as she realized what, and who, she was dreaming about.

One layer of her dreams was more seriously disturbing.  It involved dancers wearing emotionless bronze masks rolling over rows of each other’s bodies to staccato music.  It made me think the Girl was dreaming of being abducted by aliens.

Another segment made me think of sleep apnea or asthma or smothering.  The dancers jerked and gasped in a way that frightened me.  I consciously slowed and deepened my own breathing in sympathy.

Other segments, though, were delightfully playful.  One involved throwing pillows until they lost their stuffing.  The dancers slid and frolicked around a stage covered in feathers.

And one segment involved the whole ensemble, dressed in black, running back and forth at various levels across the stage to very urgent music.  Aaggh!  I am not describing it well at all.  It was very cool.

I missed Motus Dance Theatre’s contribution to the Fringe festival last year.  I am glad I did NOT miss it this year!

Hope Baugh – www.IndyTheatreHabit.com

2 thoughts on “08 Fringe: “Wicked Dreams, Pleasant Nightmares””

  1. Hi Hope!

    I have just now serendipitously stumbled upon your review of our show from this past IndyFringe Fest!

    Thanks so much for coming to our show! Thanks also for taking the time to post a favorable review! I hope you’ll continue to check us out in the future! Please join our mailing list on our website if you’d like to hear about our future shows and events!

    Thanks, again!
    Katie Bacone
    Core Artist
    Motus Dance Theatre
    http://www.motusdance.com

  2. You’re welcome, Katie! Thanks very much for reading my blog and taking the time to leave a comment.

    And thanks for an enjoyable show in the first place. I will join your mailing list.

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