AcousticaElectronica: presented by toUch Performance Art
Club Oberon, August 3, 2012 to August 24, 2012, Fridays 10:30pm
Review by Kitty Drexel
(Cambridge, MA) Acoustica Electronica (AE) is Dance Theater that blends music spanning 300 years, wrapped in operatic cellophane and wrapped in a pink party-kid ribbon. AE is realized as a club scene exuding the kind of immature sexual desperation usually found in strip joints. It has many elements that make up an excellent performance but together, these elements fall short of the experience AE hopes to create.Audience members come upon 3 undulating muses upon entering the performance space. These young women are intended to be sexy, and individually they are very pretty, but on an empty dance floor they look painfully young and trashy. These ladies are part of the show’s hour long exposition that one must endure in order to see the advertised dance performances. In the exposition, we are briefly introduced to a small cast: a womanizing club owner, his gyrating ladies of the evening, various performers and the brazen Carmen (played by Julia Partyka) whose inventive French diction colors the only live singing.
The exposition occurs within the context of the club’s activities. There is so much going on that it is difficult to notice the plot playing out. For example, if one is paying rapt attention, they can decipher than the man in suspenders kissing the undulating girl in pink is actually playing the Club Owner and is not a passionate member of the audience. What there is of the plot is overwhelmed by a general lack of focus throughout the entire performance. One doesn’t know where to look and it detracts from the experience.
The performers are very talented. Dances range from ballet to hip hop to aerial silks (featuring the lovely Rachel Lancaster as The White Rabbit). The latter being a delight because she could be seen during all of her performances. Her height above the audience made her an immediate focus, difficult to miss and a sight worth seeing.
The pieces are well choreographed and the dancers are dramatic with their execution. If the dance was allowed to be the focus of AE it would have been an excellent evening well spent. By defining AE by its club environment, many audience members decided to create their own dance entertainment and distracted from the actual performers. The performers themselves could only dance and had no other tactics to engage the audience’s attention once it was lost. Lastly, as the performers were in the middle of the dance floor without assigned staff to create a larger performance area, many performances were swallowed by the audience into the horny masses.
Acoustica Electronica is intended for a younger crowd. It is not a musical; it is not strictly a club; it lies somewhere between and will be most appreciated by night owls, social butterflies and college students. The dancing begins at 10:30pm and continues until a brisk 2am. The dance music is great, the performers are devoted but if you are looking for classic theater, my suggestion is to look elsewhere.