When I told you about Bandaloop, the vertical dance performance group that will be staging “Harboring” at OZ this weekend, I had no idea that I’d be getting a sneak peak! NYCnash was a lucky plus-one this evening for the dress rehearsal. Here’s what I thought:
“Harboring” is an hour long that feels like twenty minutes. Beginning outdoors on a vertical stage and heading in for performances on two more stages, it features dance and aerial arts with a bit of silent film style acting, especially from the group’s wonderful founder, Amelia Rudolph. The dancers often work in pairs, the men embracing each other as often as they do the women in the ensemble. In two striking pairings, the dancers belay each other, each tied to the end of a rope attached to a pulley. The title of the performance is curious, for the only “harbor” I found was in the dancers’ interactions with each other. Could it be a comment on the safety we find in our relationships, the security in an embrace, the comfort in belonging?
Anytime I try to apply meaning to dance, I end up sounding like an idiot, so I’ll stop there. I loved “Harboring,” and it would have easily been worth the $52.50 if I hadn’t been so lucky. The lighting and sound complement the dancers, not drowning them out or showing off. (Although they will have a jazz trio playing during the shows!) Be warned though: it’s not all vertical building jumping, but the big stunts are punctuated because of the smaller, often playful moments that come in between. Rudolph’s choreography moved me from suspense, to calm contemplation, to elation, with many moments of awe throughout.