What gives a life meaning? This may be the question, lying at the root of the human heart. Brave and Barefoot Dance Troupe prompts us to ask this question of ourselves in their debut multi-media performance, “Growing into Being,” directed by Cassandra Dara-Abrams. The performance draws inspiration from the rhythms of nature as well as the rhythms of our own personal journeys.
In particular, this work draws inspiration from the life of WWII concentration camp survivor Viktor Frankl. Frankl’s seminal, autobiographical work, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” recounts his quest to discover meaning in the most horrific of circumstances. “An Ode to Viktor Frankl,” is performed to the recitation of “Ringing the Bell from the Highest Mountain Temple”–a poem honoring Frankl’s life work. This is a call to action. Dancers breathe life into the words of the poem, embodying energy and passion with strong, explosive movement. “We Are Growing,” a full company piece, explores the stages of the journey both as individuals and as a whole. Contemporary movement highlights the unique strengths of each dancer. The last piece, “Grandmother Moon,” speaks to the experiences of women of various ages and stages of life. Set to an original a cappella song and live drumming, the dancers’ motions become the physical embodiment of music.
“Growing into Being” is a performance that speaks to the needs of the soul, so often buried in the rush of mundane reality. This is a work that sheds light on the beauty and magic that may be found in ordinary existence for those who know where to look and how to see. The evening is a chance not only to view a beautiful work of art, but to partake in that work of art as well. A live auction and free hors d’oeuvres provide a chance to connect with the performers and other guests. An intimate stage setting removes the barrier between audience and performer. This is not merely a spectacle, it is a gift and, as Viktor Frankl has written in his books, a life is most meaningful when we give to others. (Lauren Nelson)
Brave and Barefoot Dance Troupe at Ganesha Yoga and Adventures in Fitness, 3113 North Lincoln, April 19, 7pm. Free.