Randy Pauve notes that “Strangers Become Flowers”
“…is about finding places in the grip and slip of human contact…” In her beautifully crafted 50-minute piece, her six dances meet, encounter and sometimes resolve those moments, but not always.
She states also that this is a piece concerning traveling, “about remembering that we always rely on the kindness of strangers.”
There are several sections, solo, duet, trios, group, that flow easily into one another providing an opportunities for those particular dancers to state their unique dance vocabulary, contrast that with another and connect or disconnect as the energy between them develops. Dancers Rogelio Lopez, Elizabeth Randall, Andrew Merrell, Juliana Monin, Nadia Oka and Michelle Tunstall, each bring a special quality and shape to their movement, although Pauve has given them all her lyric dance lines and the distinct use of hand gestures that almost always end each phrase.
“Strangers Become Flowers” is beautiful to watch, with seamlessly developing movement patterns between the two men and four women, as they dance to a variety of scores that accompany the work.
A major problem, for this reviewer, is the incipient drama that arises between the participants. Drama in dance cannot be expressed through facial expression or even through gestures alone. A combination of elements must be enlisted including a certain tension that underscores the dramatic elements. Pauses help too. This dimension of “Strangers..” needs more work.
Pauve and her dancers are to be congratulated for giving us this satisfying realization of a complex contemporary issue, establishing relations between diverse people. Hopefully, we will see “Strangers Become Flowers” repeated again and again.
Credits: Lighting; Gabe Maxson. Costumes, Keriann Egeland. Performance Coach; Beth Harris. Stage Manager, Kate Morrison. Video Documentation: Faul Del Bene/imafool Productions. Assistant Production Manager, Julia Davidson.