Experimental performance confuses reviewer

So, when I showed up to the performance of Fluid Hug Hug’s (glowing), I’ll be honest with you guys; I wasn’t sure what I would get. I knew it was supposed to be in the Japanese tradition of dancing and that its name seemed to me like something you would call a video of a rave.

As the performance started out, the dancers moved and were dressed like disheveled, hipster zombies, though they initially moved with less vigor and purpose. Their dance spoke of both a lack of coordination and of being a marionette. It was incredibly strange. I could see individual dancers move in distinctly African, Russian Ballet, and Japanese styles. Some dancers also definitely began moving with combative motions, reminiscent in many ways of karate styles I’ve seen in movies.

For the longest time there was no noise in the performance hall, just the sound of the performers’ feet and breathing and the odd rustle from the audience. It made for something of an intimidating atmosphere, just watching the performers take turns dancing in different styles, at different times, with no semblance of coordination.

I would normally try to describe the movement of the dancers, but it was so discordant; it was the dance equivalent of incredibly loud piercing white noise. I don’t even know where to begin. If I had to assign some sort of theme to what I saw, it would be chaos and change. The dancers never did the same thing twice, moving sometimes together, and sometimes separately. The only thing that was the same anytime in the performance was the fact that it was always different.

One thing I was very clear on was the raw skill of the performers. From what they did, it was clear they had a lot of skill to throw around. Each dancer moved through various styles, into and out of a great many forms and movements. I was entranced, but unfortunately that didn’t lighten the extent to which I had no idea what was going on.

After a while I was simply sure that there was some pattern or something I was missing out on. They began dancing with such purpose that I was sure I just wasn’t getting something.

Finally, towards the end of the performance, there were some moments of music or noise that broke through the silence of the rest of the performance. Then the dancers took the stage ornaments apart and put them together into some kind of interesting kinetic sculpture.

Overall, I’m not sure what to recommend. If you like high-art style stuff, maybe this is for you. If high-art confuses you, then avoid this show. I enjoyed it for the absurdity of what they did, but it was very, very confusing. The dancers were talented, but what they did made no sense. It’s a give and take that leaves me with no recommendation for you guys. I think EMPAC may have gone just a little too experimental with this one, but if you’ve got the time and money for the ticket, give it a try.