Home & + | Search
Featured Categories: Special Focus | Performance Reviews | Previews | DanceSpots | Arts and Education | Press Releases
Join ExploreDance.com's email list | Mission Statement | Copyright notice | The Store | Calendar | User survey | Advertise
Click here to take the ExploreDance.com user survey.
Your anonymous feedback will help us continue to bring you coverage of more dance.
SPOTLIGHT:
PERFORMANCE REVIEWS
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
ExploreDance.com iPad Edition

New!
Read ExploreDance.com on your iPad!
Only $0.99 per issue! No ads!
www.exploredance.com/subscribe.htm
ExploreDance.com (Magazine)
Web
Other Search Options
Lewis J Whittington
Performance Reviews
Aerials
Dance-theater
Modern/Contemporary
Neighborhood House
United States
Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
******* ** **
exploredance.com
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
ExploreDance.com Kickstarter Campaign

The ExploreDance.com Kickstarter campaign is live! Please consider backing our campaign to help us expand our coverage of dance.
www.kickstarter.com/projects/1306220552/exploredancecom

Love, sex, career & other aerial feats explored in Tangle Movement Arts' Surface Tension

by Lewis J Whittington
September 19, 2016
Neighborhood House
20 N American Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 922-1695
Acrobatic dance troupe Tangle Arts Movement, founded by Lauren Rile Smith five years ago, is a circus arts theatrical company that mixes LGBTQ narrative into their shows.

They have performed in a converted broadcast studio in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia and now have performing around the city and attracting bigger, and more diverse audiences.

For their latest program,Surface Tension,Sept. 14-17 as part of 2016's FringeArts, the troupe performed at the Neighborhood House in Olde City. The rustic fourth floor space, with its foundry brick and exposed metal girders was a great setting, if a little cramped for the trapeze and rope apparatus part of their show.

The first act of Surface Tension sets up several narratives. Leah Thompson fantasizes about meeting a possible new love interest, played by Genevieve Senechal. She's a woman she can slow dance with and “who knows when to lead” she says in a voiceover. But her actual date, portrayed by Lauren Rile Smith, is very different from her fantasy both in mind and body. Sparks still fly between the two and they dance their way into a relationship. The pair work out the kinks and doubts about long term relationships on a flying trapeze which sometimes ends with them in knotted limbs and knotted conversations.

Meanwhile, Nina Giacobbe is about to launch into her "real job" and must "learn the ropes" which ends up being the perfect setup for some clunky aerials on those ropes. Above it all is advice columnist Pascale Smith a.k.a. "Love, Darla," who hangs out on her trapeze, doling out relationship and career advice at the same time she is figuring out her own path as a 22-year old journalist.

The ensemble moves back and forth in these scenarios as they launch into flying acrobatics, mainly on double-draped rail-to-floor acrobatic sashes. Smith laces in interludes of dancing on the floor which are underpowered choreographically, until Maura Kirk takes the liberated lead to the 60s pop classic “Different Drum” and gets things get moving in earnest.

The first act has a lumbering literalness, but the second act comes together nicely.

The office newbie awkwardly goes on those ropes under the eye of her supervisor and kudos to Giacobbe for doing the flop spin outs off the rope and knotting herself up in them to look inept. She redeems herself in a lithe sash solo ballet to Bonnie Raitt’s great version of John Prine’s “Angel from Montgomery.”

Kirk is the most inventive dancer/aerialist displaying precision and steel and silk movement as she twisted, dropped or sculpted her body. Most luminous was her performing to Nina Simone's “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.”

Meanwhile, Smith can balance on the free swinging bar as if it she were a tightrope walker. She worked a lot with inverted moves including her duet with Thompson on a circular trapeze bar where a web of ropes had them in an intricate duet that pushed the swing of their story forward.

Both show’s narratives could have been less sitcom literal, but without a doubt the diverse audience of gay and straight, mostly millennials connected to the accessibility of this material. And while the company admirably strives to be socially inclusive in the subject matter of its works, Smith’s aerial arts could be strengthened.
Calla Smith in Tangle Movement Arts''Surface Tension.'

Calla Smith in Tangle Movement Arts'"Surface Tension."

Photo © & courtesy of Anne Saint Peter Photography


Maura Kirk in Tangle Movement Arts''Surface Tension.'

Maura Kirk in Tangle Movement Arts'"Surface Tension."

Photo © & courtesy of Anne Saint Peter Photography


Lee Thompson in Tangle Movement Arts''Surface Tension.'

Lee Thompson in Tangle Movement Arts'"Surface Tension."

Photo © & courtesy of Anne Saint Peter Photography


Lauren Rile Smith in Tangle Movement Arts''Surface Tension.'

Lauren Rile Smith in Tangle Movement Arts'"Surface Tension."

Photo © & courtesy of Anne Saint Peter Photography


Leah Thompson and Lauren Rile Smith in Tangle Movement Arts''Surface Tension.'

Leah Thompson and Lauren Rile Smith in Tangle Movement Arts'"Surface Tension."

Photo © & courtesy of Michael Takes Pictures


Genevieve Senechal and Leah Thompson in in Tangle Movement Arts''Surface Tension.'

Genevieve Senechal and Leah Thompson in in Tangle Movement Arts'"Surface Tension."

Photo © & courtesy of Michael Takes Pictures

ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
* **** ****


ExploreDance.com
ExploreDance.com is sponsored by
******* ******
exploredance.com


home || view our calendar || the store || copyright information || join our mailing list || mission statement
Search for articles by
Performance Reviews, Places to Dance, Fashion, Photography, Auditions, Politics, Health