Steamboat Springs How unfortunate that artists must also be people, that art does not pay for itself, that the dancers in Steamboat Springs only have time to perform once a year because their energy must go toward jobs at restaurants and coffeehouses, in classrooms and offices.
Because Saturday night's performance by the Promethea Dance Project was a taste of what could exist in Steamboat a modern dance scene.
Dance can go places theater never can. Because dance moves beyond language, the entire performance happens as much in the minds of the audience as it does on the stage. Movements are interpreted according to the experience of those watching.
Dance audiences have always been my favorite. They are more open minded and more avant garde than the audiences of most arts.
Saturday night's theater held a near full house and an incredibly varied group of people.
Little girls lined the second row and leaned over the front seats to catch every move. Older couples sat next to twenty-something couples.
The performance had something for everyone.
The show had no theme. It was a mix of styles and approaches. Some of the pieces were as basic as dancers moving to the beat of the music, like the opening number "Georgia," or as psychologically complicated as "You've Done Everything Else," choreographed by Barbara Bonfiglio. Though the dancers followed the music in Bonfiglio's piece, the dance itself was more a statement about the nature of human relationships. One dancer was passed off to the other like dead weight in a revolving circle of people on the backs of others. A feeling of loneliness penetrated the dance of interdependence.
Bonfiglio has a painter's eye for dancing. I was disappointed to see only two pieces by her. Life and time constraints keep her from a full-time commitment to dance, but what I wouldn't give to see an evening-long themed performance choreographed by her.
Act II opened with a Bonfiglio piece, "Snakebite."
The piece incorporated several world themes into a dance that at one point had five dancers moving as one Vishnu being.
The heavier Bonfiglio pieces were balanced with less psychological, more technical pieces, like "Broken Rhythm," choreographed by artistic director Chris Carbone.
The dance was set to the sound of Carbone's own movements. There was no other music. He mixed yoga, martial arts and dance in a stark black and white one-person exploration of the stage.
The night ended like an introductory lesson on dance. Promethea Dance Project gave us a taste of the many things that could be, but will only be available to us once a year.