The Seldoms Brief Run (Theater) Critic's Choice Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: March 12-14 2010

Carrie Hanson's Marchland has been in the works for a year, and it shows in the piece's carefully layered design and movement. A "march" (or "mark") is a border region, often set up in response to territorial conflict, and Fraser Taylor's scenic elements--harsh black-and-white videos, black sculptural walls--sometimes suggest barbed wire. Costumes, by fashion designer Lara Miller, are equally severe. But while Tim Daisy's simple, powerful percussive score can be as insistent as a military band, it can also sound as tentative as raindrops on a roof. Emotional nuance creeps into the choreography, too, though overall the eight dancers are impassive and their motions uninflected. Hanson's often straightforward moves--a knee raised to hip height and held, for instance, a hand jiggled at the end of a straight arm, or arms and head shot forward--repeat and gather force as the 70-minute piece morphs into an abstract painting in motion, tense and quiet by turns, like a contested border. --Laura Molzahn

Price: $10-$25

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