Julia Rhoads of Lucky Plush Productions and collaborating director Leslie Buxbaum Danzig have teamed up to produce a new dance performance called The Rooming House, which will take place on June 17th, 2017 at the Door Kinetic Film Festival immediately following the screening of Adam Grannick's narrative dance film "La Folia".
The Rooming House opens with lights and sound coming up slowly, allowing audiences’ eyes and ears to adjust to the familiarity of the relationships and the immediacy of the conversation, which easily slips between English and Spanish. After a few personal anecdotes about everyday people who do life-endangering acts, the example of Orpheus looking back at Eurydice is raised and variously interpreted. The ensuing game of whodunit (inspired by the board game Clue) turns the myth into a live-action game in which the ensemble considers individual culpability and psychological states within the stages—or “rooms”— of decision-making.
As the game unfolds, the ‘truth’ of any particular story is up for grabs as the players strategically create evidence for their claims of culpability, rearranging plot points and reinterpreting causal factors. Rooming House becomes, in part, about how we use stories and interpret action to make cases for what we believe in and how we draw each other into our perceptions of what is real.
Julia Rhoads and Leslie Danzig collaborated on The Rooming House by drawing upon their different methods as well as the diverse skills of the ensemble members. In rehearsal, the co-creators invite the ensemble to ‘write’ individual experiences into the show, foregrounding each performer as a distinct human being. As such, the work reflects cultural diversity that is idiosyncratic and personal, rather than representational.
Scenically, the performers make use of (what appear to be) random objects in the space to lend definition to the game-board rooms they’re creating over the course of show. These objects include chairs, stools, drinks from the bar, and possibly stanchions repurposed to create borders and selectively permit and block entry into ‘scenes’ as the heat of the game escalates.
The development process for The Rooming House takes two years - August 2016 through July 2018, and we get to be a part of that awesome process. Join us, June 17th, at 7:30 pm!