Remix Festival debuts and mashes up choreographers' works

Chelsea Murphy, Magda San Milan in "We Touched It" at the Remix Festival at thefidgetspace.
Chelsea Murphy, Magda San Milan in "We Touched It" at the Remix Festival at thefidgetspace. (plate3photography.com)
Posted: May 04, 2014

Choreographer Susan Rethorst started something when she came to teach at Bryn Mawr College a couple of years back. Her Wreckings explore what happens when choreographers take over one another's works to reconstruct them. From this project came the concept of the Remix Festival, which opened Thursday night at thefidget space.

Curated by choreographer/dancer Annie Wilson, whose own work I admire, the first half of each evening offers three dances by individual choreographers. The second half offers the same performers doing their work remixed by someone else. Results can run from quirky to not-working-for-me to darn funny. Each remix had some of all that.

Meredith Bove's solo, This Everlasting Ocean, began with her counting into a mike and making a tape loop, over which she layered vowels that repeated like waves lapping at a shore. Her movement motifs echoed approaching and receding waves: She slid down the wall time after time, traversed the floor on her butt again and again. When Chelsea Murphy and Magda San Milan did the later remix, the ocean evaporated.

Murphy and San Milan showed up next with We Touched It. These two escapees from the Headlong Performance Institute slay me. I saw them this year in their droll skit Singer/Songwriter, and this new piece was just as unstarched. Hands down inside their dance tights, they lolled and horsed around like little girls do at side-by-side play, wondering about how things feel to the touch. They end by sniffing each other's hands and smearing their smells over each other's faces. No, it's awfully endearing. But that's taken away, deflated as a post-birthday balloon, in Rachel Slater's darker remix, which begins with the hand-sniffing.

Meg Foley performed an unnamed, not fully formed Rethorst sketch of a piece, which so far features frenzied writhing on the floor and flinging of the body with total abandon. Jen Rosenblit's remix filled in much more texture and humor and had Foley beginning behind the audience before threading her way through to the stage area, where Rosenblit joined her.

All in all, there was more reworking than wrecking, but the concept came across clear enough. The performances Saturday and Sunday will be something altogether new to reckon with.


Additional performances: 7 (original works) and 8 p.m. (remixes) Saturday; and 5 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday at thefidget space, 1714 N. Mascher St. Tickets: $10-$15. Information: 1-800-838-3006 or www.brownpapertickets.com/event/584813.

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