I’m a huge believer in “less is more,” especially when it comes to storytelling.
On Sunday, March 24th, I attended the matinee of City Lights presented by The Red Door Theatre Company at TBG Studio Theatre in midtown. It’s a small intimate space (there are so many of these little gems of theaters tucked away in the city), in which the actors lived simply – the viewer took in the comings-and-goings of young, determined, flighty dancers. For this story, the actors appeared to be master participant-observers retelling their own stories. Dancer-dancers will appreciate the pleadings of Maddie to her parents to continue supporting her; the complicated relational dynamics of dance company cliques; a faithful friend outside the fray…
There is a poignant moment with a departing dancer and a reflection on the city skyline, about how inviting and inspiring the city seems from the outside until it sucks your soul away with the harshness of day-to-day existence.
Izze Gibson tells a simple story simply well. Gibson keeps the story simple, because we all know that life isn’t really that simple. These dancers juggle staying in shape, continuing to push themselves, work “real” jobs to support their art, and manage romantic entanglements. They are constantly wrestling with whether to stay in a group they love or move on in search of their “break.” These are dancers acting out their life – which is why there are so many movement vignettes, rehearsals, rehearsals, rehearsals…Gibson uses a charming playlist to guide her dancer-actors along and cue the audience to the mood and sentiment. Perhaps, overly direct with some of the musical choices, but it’s an enjoyable soundtrack of folk and pop.
One weekend left, check it out!