September 12th, 2012 | by HEATHER WISNER Arts & Books | Posted In: Theater

TBA Diaries: Keith Hennessy and Circo Zero, Turbulence

137_keithhennessyturbulencerobbiesweeney4loKeith Hennessy: Turbulence - Photo: Robbie Sweeney

If you enjoy Champagne-soaked naked slip ‘n’ slide (as many do) you might enjoy Turbulence, by Keith Hennessy and Circo Zero. 

I say "might" because that’s just one part of this dance-theater piece, a supposedly optional part, and there are many more parts that compose its sprawling whole. It begins when you walk among the performers on the way to your seat, which you may not occupy for long: Turbulence is heavy on audience participation—in the course of the evening, you may find yourself entangled in a contact-improv pile that looks remarkably like a slow-mo mosh pit. You may be paraded around onstage like a trophy wife. You may be offered wine in a Dixie cup and a box of Voodoo Donuts, but you may also be encouraged to fight over the donuts, because there aren’t for everyone. You might even find yourself watching the show lying down onstage after a performer has stripped you (temporarily) of your shoes and your wallet and sprinkled your cash and credit cards over your midsection like a tiny waterfall. 

Turbulence, you see, is subtitled “A Dance About the Economy,” but you will only find overt references to the theme periodically, as when two of the performers standing on the sidelines offer a running commentary about the obvious symbolism of a people pyramid onstage representing unstable structures, and the gold-lame material obscuring their faces referencing the gold standard, cheap and shiny commodities, etc. Turbulence feels much more like an anarchic dance party, set to an eardrum-punishing soundtrack by longtime Hennessy collaborator Jules Beckman. Four years to the week after Lehman Brothers’ financial meltdown, Hennessy admits to not having answers, only to feeling mad as hell. Sharing that anger with others is one way to respond; dancing it off might be another.

SEE IT: Imago Theatre, 8:30 pm Wednesday-Friday, Sept. 12-14. $20-$25. pica.org/TBA

Click here to read more TBA Diaries.

 
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