March is an in-between time. One day we are hopefully braving forty-degree sunshine in sweaters and sunglasses, convincing ourselves of warmth. The next we’re succumbing to parkas and mittens, watching our breath trail out behind us. Spring, growth, warmth, life—it is all so close but still just beyond reach. The turning of seasons has long provided many a rich artistic metaphor. In “Drift deep, loose,” creative director of Hedwig Dances Jan Bartoszek draws her inspiration from these tensions of thawing winter. The piece will debut as part of the spring show, “Markings.”
Simple costumes not only clothe the dancers but serve as props, creating new spaces and opportunities for exploration. The piece is set to classical music interspersed with sounds of nature. The audience is seated on both sides of an uncluttered stage. Like nature herself, the tone is pure and elemental.
Dancers begin as characters—individual human beings struggling through this in-between time. They are rescuing; they are being rescued. They are looking forward; they are looking backward. With strong, explosive movement, their interactions reflect the relationship between past stories and future possibilities. The dance continues more abstractly, with dancers moving as a unified whole. They become shapes, images, patterns transcending the struggling characters. We move from the ground up into the air.
Like the promise of a yet unlived spring, “Drift deep, loose,” leaves us with questions and possibilities. As Bartoszek continues to flesh out her piece, adding more seasons, we can look forward to seeing those possibilities fulfilled. (Lauren Nelson)
Hedwig Dances at Links Hall, 3111 North Western, April 4 & 5, 11 & 12, 7pm, $15-$20. Linkshall.org.