2nd Toe Collective
A perfect bride, standing perfectly still, in a perfect dress with a gracious smile and a perfect veil is ceremoniously cocooned in plastic, like a caterpillar before a metamorphosis takes place. Set against our current political backdrop where gender is fluid and where equal rights to same – sex marriage is as hotly contested as it is hotly obfuscated, this opening scene and its clever use of everyday domestic props provides us with a vivid metaphor.
Towards the ending of this telling opening sequence, several of the dancers- a sensuous bridal party perhaps comprising friends and ex-lovers - are busily weaving and winding about the stage tending to and preserving the bride. Thereby preserving the traditions for which she is also the emblem. As the party turn away from her, wandering into the distance they leave behind them long silvery trails and tendrils of plastic food wrap, the traces of tradition, entangled, glinting in the light. It’s a difficult image that seizes us, the stillness and containment signified by marriage becomes instead, an open web, one subject to corrupting forces, one that can trap strangers like flies.
Something Blew offers us some enduring images and it poses some difficult questions too. Blew is after all a deeply inflected word conjuring different meanings to the more traditional ‘ something blue’ signifying fidelity and true love in the old bridal rhyme. Blew is conflicted and ironic, suggestive of slang, porn, forces of nature, poetry even hubris.
The first act of the work has the dancers stay and play together en masse. The second act splintering into sublime partnering and some mesmerizing duets. At times rapturous choreography evoking the prism of emotions encountered during ‘young love’.
Ironically, in the closing scene the bride is a ‘he’, swathed in blue light, dressed in a garment fashioned from silvery trails and tendrils reminiscent of the perfect bride at the outset. Unlike her, he is not still, he has adapted into a dervish of en pointe, demi pointe, jettes, plies, street style and somersaults able to negotiate any obstacle or fury or slant or sleight with the grace of ballet, and the stillness is contained within.