A celebration of the body and its infinite richness of motion, multi-layered like a Kaleidoscope—Tere O’Connor’s beautifully crafted, riveting ensemble piece reverberates in the heart.
With a polished, but improvisational quality, O’Connor’s young artists weave moments of luminous, ravishing beauty, with moving undertones of loneliness, fear, and desire.
Despite the often casual quality to the interactions between the four male dancers—flinging out an arm and hand to brush someone’s neck, leaning the body just enough to nudge the one near you—there is no doubt of the intense emotional undercurrent. Just as in real life, motions carry messages, even if they seem random.
A touch is never just a touch—it is a cry, a plea, a request, a lifeline…
The piece is filled with poignant gems to hold in one’s memory— dancers holding their poses for a joyful moment, while their faces slowly melt into anguish. A man intimately explores the fingers of his partner’s hand, desperately, as if the key to his being were locked inside. The sudden blowing of one’s breath becomes an unexpected weapon, an assault.
This is an intensely physical piece. There is no “grandstanding”—the dancers are comfortable in their own skin, genuinely, breathtakingly graceful. But the motions themselves are urgent, driven, devolving, never at rest.
There is a sense that one is afraid to stop moving, that something un-named must be kept at bay…is this our state as humans?
As the four dancers merge together in pairs, groups, sometimes with heart-stopping beauty, the contact, however intimate, is always broken, the communion cannot be sustained for long, there is no respite. Relationships have no center, lifelines end.
The loneliness is greatest, it seems, when the dancers move in unison, but apart…
As Tere O’Connor himself says, “Whatever you fall in love with, exits.” Moments of sheer angelic transcendence, of tenderness, of human contact, soon spiral into a pulling away, a loss, a moving inward into sorrow.
This is not a piece to walk away from in sadness, however. These talented and irresistibly human artists bring courage, warmth, sweat, strength, and a love for the act of dance itself. Love for the body, and its endlessly fascinating and mysterious configurations. Love for the heart, its burdens, its tenderness, its endless searching and reaching out.
Awe, and a catch in the throat, are what we are left with.
Vivian (“Firebird”) is a poet, photographer, Physician Assistant, and Phoenician. Her blog (please visit!) is firebirdlanding.blogspot.com. She also wrote reviews (on Amazon.com) of The Orpheus Obsession by Dakota Lane, and Original Faith by Paul Maurice Martin (love these books).