On Stage: Freejazz with Freeing Emotion

PP ( ) 1

Pearlann Porter called it “( ),” an artist-known-as-Prince way to engage audience members. I saw a hug, a way to connect. As it turned out, there was, of course, much more to the piece than that.

There was traffic noise as we entered (or so I assumed). And the piece was performed with a dual front — where the action could be discerned from two seating areas at both ends of a long alley way that took up part of The Space Upstairs. I passed three couples in close contact, seemingly still, perhaps not.


PP ( ) 2

What followed were a series of sections set to recorded music, so atmospheric in the . The first took advantage of a leaping bass line, only connected by wide intervals. A single couple at opposite ends of the alley were connected with a large rubber band, but  maybe not.

Who was pulling? Who was in control? From my end, the woman seemed to be agonizing.

They moved farther apart, yet were still connected by an increasingly complex cat’s cradle.


PP ( ) 3

( ) continued to develop relationships, taking on an increasingly steamy, Tennessee Williams’ aura.

By the end, ( ) was unraveling. There were two couples at opposite ends of the alley. But one male was obviously connected to the female from the other couple. The partners were extraneous.

The final concept referenced Pearlann’s work with Freejazz over the pas several years, where the dancers start moving without a real preconceived notion of where they were going.

It’s an organic, highly sensory style of movement, but here it was served up in a new context, where the emotions played out with a heavy weight, giving this latest of Porter pieces a mesmerizing lock on its audience.


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