An empty stage is one of my favorite things. The theatre kid in me sees an empty stage as a place where anything can happen.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen the stage at Theatre L’Homme Dieu empty before.
Last night, I saw a few things I’ve never seen at TLHD before.
First off, I’m not sure TLHD has had a primarily dance-based show before. These dancers are amazing. Shapeshift Theatrical is a Twin Cities-based dance company that’s not only racially and culturally diverse, but they specialize in all types of dance. From ballet to hip hop, they do it all, and they take this blend and mix it with theatre. What results is an entirely original work of art. And it’s cool. IT’S REALLY COOL.
Ten accomplished dancers tell compelling stories of a summer of friendships using small combos and full ensemble and solo pieces, fused with popular and old school music. Exploring emotional themes of family, race, love, and betrayal, this diverse collective combines Hip Hop dance with the lyricism of contemporary movement.
Also, a rarity at TLHD, Grey Skies Blue is presented without an intermission. Clocking in at an hour, it’s one of TLHD’s shortest shows. That’s not a criticism. You try dancing for an hour straight. Try it. They keep the momentum going, and you don’t get a chance to get bored – if fact, you’ll be wondering “what’s next?!”. Grey Skies Blue is compelling, often unexpected, and entertaining.
It’s worth noting that the stories presented in Grey Skies Blue happened to these young people. When you watch Grey Skies Blue, you see true stories in dance. Some of the stories might be challenging for a portion of the Alexandria community, and that’s okay. It’s only through challenges that we grow. When someone is telling you from their first-hand perspective how things are, it’s so important that we listen. And in this case, watch. Grey Skies Blue is an opportunity to understand the world just a little bit better, and isn’t that what we need right now?
Grey Skies Blue is at Theatre L’Homme Dieu through July 13th.
(P.S. The last place you could have caught a show by Shapeshift was at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, so… yeah. When I say it’s a high-quality show, I’m not kidding around.)