(Snap)shots on a Greyhound Headed Home

 The Apothecary, 1013 7th Street NW 

 

Remaining Performances:

Tuesday, July 20 at 6:00 p.m. Friday, July 23 at 8:00 p.m. Sunday, July 25 at 12:45 p.m.

They Say:  “A seeker embarks on a journey to discover a way home.  Experiencing the beauty and brokenness of internal landscape(s), she must resolve the arising conflict between these to reach her final destination and the love that lies beyond.”

Ann’s Take:  (Snap)Shots documents a moment in the lives of two women on a journey, quite literally on the bus and figuratively through their emotions. Opening with the pair knotted on the floor, the couple slinks through tangled sequences only to burst abruptly apart. And so ends the interesting part of the piece. From here, hearts are broken and teenage moodiness ensues, complete with dancer Kjerstin Lysne writhing on the floor, arms bound in her sweater as she punches her fists to mimic her throbbing heart beats. 

To emphasize the point, in case you’re missing it, dancer Dia Dearstyne dumps a suitcase full of paper cut-out hearts onto the floor. She tenderly pastes one to her sternum and insists her irritable traveling companion cut her own paper heart to wear.  But, you know paper hearts can’t last forever, and the characters thus delve into deeper darkness. The unfolding drama is accompanied by projected video footage of blurred car-window landscape.  (Bring your Dramamine.) 

It is clear that collaborators Lysne and Dearstyne, as well as director Melissa Bustamante, set out to show their audience something profound.  To their credit, the women know how to put together smooth sequencing, and they are well-trained technical dancers.  I applaud the efforts they made to develop fresh, poetic material.  But, these efforts do not translate into successes, and the piece ends up instead very straightforward, stale and well, frankly not that remarkable.  Neither evocative enough to engage nor well-crafted enough to impress, (Snap)shots, lands somewhere in the “still under construction” category, leaving us with a half an hour of less-than-impactful imagery trying very hard (sometimes very, very hard) to find its footing.  

See it if:  You want to support young artists as they embark on their first adventures in production. 

Skip it if:  You’re already on the fence about contemporary dance.