If you could only get your hands on the program, piece titles like “Bird Girl,” “Feral,” and “Late Anthropocene” should give you a clue to the subject of the MaMa Project’s Unearthed, showing tonight and tomorrow at 8 PM in Lerner’s Black Box theater. As presented by Marie Janicek (BC ’12), both choreographer and lead dancer in Orchesis’ latest production, the show is about reclaiming a “survival instinct” that civilization has denied. Ultimately, she says, to uncover our animal consciousness is empowering– it allows us to tap a latent ability to be “fully present” and embodied. It’s a heady undertaking, but rest assured the event is not as taxing as it may sound. Go!
The theme is an appropriate one to showcase the physical and theatrical talent of this dance troupe. The challenge to “reconnect with [their] inherent animalism” is well articulated by a choreography that ranges from the purposeful march of automatons to fits of halting convulsions that are tiring even to watch. Bwog wondered why dancers were dressed in a bold palette of Lycra that seemed anything but earthly until it realized that the unitards were probably protective: there’s a lot of sliding, falling and jumping going on and we can’t imagine that the floor of the Black Box is a friend to kneecaps. The range of character in the ensemble’s movements is reason enough to attend Unearthed. To watch the cast shift in and out of their feral instinct, especially in ensemble numbers toward the beginning of the show like “The Air,” was worth the price of the ticket ($5 at the TIC!).