endless ocean, endless sky - Installation by Andrew Kudless; Choreography by Tahni Holt

Fuse Box

April 25, 26 & 27, 2008
by Elizabeth Chiles

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      Performance still from Endless Ocean, Endless Sky
      Installation by Andrew Kudless; choreography by Tahni Holt
      Presented as part of the Fuse Box Festival 2008

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      endless ocean, endless sky, an installation and dance performance at the Music Lab, attempts to transport viewers into the realm of the infinite through dance, light, sound and architecture. The performance takes place inside an installation by San Francisco based architect Andrew Kudless. The installation, an inflatable structure made of diaphanous polyurethane fabric, simultaneously evokes a blimp, a cloud and a cavernous tent. Crawling into the vessel to await the performance is an exhilarating moment: the magic of the lighter-than-air architecture creates feelings of buoyancy and expectation.

      During the performance three dancers—Eugenie Frerichs, Daniel Addy and choreographer Tahni Holt—enter and exit the tent-like structure with gyrating regularity. Each time the dancers appear, they seem to be performing another fragment of an elusive story about living, dying, fighting and loving. At one point the dancers rock out to iPods, at another they crawl around viewers wearing hats that resemble icebergs, and at a third, they move around illuminating one another with flash lights. Unfortunately, the saga remains frustratingly inaccessible to viewers (at least to this viewer), for whom it is difficult to interpret many of the encounters and motifs.

      Holt is an ambitious young choreographer, but endless ocean, endless sky falls short of eliciting the visceral response that Kudless achieves with his airy architecture. Unlike the architecture, the performance leaves viewers in their heads and fails to transport them into the vast spaces promised by the performance's title.

      Elizabeth Chiles is a photographer and lives in Austin, Texas.

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