KANEKO Galleries hosted a “mode of being” by the tbd. dance collective last week.
The performance was part of the galleries’ MOVEMENT Series, which thekaneko.org described being “an examination of the shared elements of human nature.”
Stephanie Huettner, co-director of the collective and performer, said she reaches out to the community to collaborate with musicians and other performers.
“We can incorporate as many creative things as we can, just to make a very unique experience for the audience,” Huettner said.
Huettner said that the “sky’s the limit” when it comes to the creative freedom that they are given.
The performance had two parts: upstairs with standing room only and downstairs with seating among centerpieces by American artist Viola Frey.
Nick Holden has been working with tbd. since the beginning of January. He was asked to create experimental, ambient music for the first half of the show, which he described as being focused on the “external” experience of things.
“All that really means is just what you see and what you experience,” Holden said. “And the downstairs is a more introspective section, so that’s a little bit maybe darker both in lighting and I think the meaning of it. At least the experience of it is that way.”
After the first half of the performance, dancers led viewers downstairs into a room that had been designed specifically so that each seat offered a unique perspective. Other performers in the room played instruments, including cello, drums, guitar and keyboard.
Patrick Newbery, the keyboard player, described his role as “adding feel, a little groove and rhythm that they can dance to.”
“When I’m in the performance, I feel whatever the mood is supposed to be, whatever the dancers and the choreographers have decided is kind of the atmosphere,” said Allyson Pfortmiller, a dancer in the show. “When I’m performing, I really feel that.
“I feel like I’m 100% into it, I feel like kind of a different person, almost like acting except it’s more conceptual, so it’s not as black and white,” she said.
After the show, audience member Annette Kutilek said the performance was “unique.”
“It just seemed like they really knew what they were doing, and I feel like through the performance, I got to know myself a little better,” said Kutilek.