A Futuristic Dance Theater Narrative by Choreographer-Artistic Director Chase Brock
By Sandi Durell
Body language, movement and music can create and say more than words could ever say! So it is in Chase Brock’s latest offering at the Clurman Theater on Theater Row – The Girl with the Alkaline Eyes, performed by Brooklyn based dance Company, The Chase Brock Experience. Mr. Brock’s credits are palpable: upcoming Be More Chill on Broadway, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and Picnic to name some.
Meet Oliver (Spencer Ramirez) in a futuristic hi-tech lab working on a secret project, wearing a virtual reality mask, his fingers moving at rapid pace coding, the music swift and staccato. But what is it that excites him? Others join him on stage – the lab owner Troy (Travante S. Baker), an Investor (Jane Abbott) as they move and mix.
We quickly see where this is going when Oliver reaches behind the shiny vinyl curtain slats and carries out what appears to be a lifeless robotic human figure. And as his virtual glove moves quickly, the lifeless robot awakens – the Female Creation (Amber Barbee Pickens) and a Male Creation (James Koroni).
Co – another robot (Yukiko Kashiki) is the main attraction as she comes alive manipulated by Oliver, her gestures and dance graceful and lithe as Troy enters to explore what is happening, taking a romantic interest in Co as more relationships evolve, materialize and grow.
The scenes are short and as one fades to black, another emerges – one that signifies an Adam and Eve sequence; a girl walking an imaginary dog, an Evangelist attempting to rid the world of robots placing a sign on one – “You Will Not Replace Us!”
With the aid of projections by Alex Basco Koch, on a minimal set designed by Jason Sherwood, essential lighting by Brian Tovar, and sound by Ryan Rumery, the players, dressed by Loren Shaw, easily convey the premise: supernatural yet frighteningly real as we hear repetitive words like “A robot shall not harm a human being” – “A robot shall obey, obey, obey…” again and again . . . All very discomforting if one wants to look into the future of our ever evolving technology. And if we focus on the premise presented, we are left wondering to what degree robotic life can actually reign – – – who is human, who is not . . .
The ensemble of dancers are exquisite to watch as bodies and hands move and groove in the special language only dance can create as they leap, roll and slither.
With an original score by Eric Dietz, with Piano/Roli Seaboard, violin (Arthur Moeller) and cello (Amy Kang) together with pre-recorded electronics, Rob Berman serves as music supervisor and keyboardist.
Photos: Michael Kushner Photography
The Girl With the Alkaline Eyes – Clurman Theatre, 410 West 42 Street, NYC – 17 performances only thru January 13!
Run time: 70 minutes telecharge.com 212 239-6200