Altered Archives: The Gracefulness and Greatness of Pure Excellence

altered_02Mesmerized. And lucky, very lucky, that I have seen, in Washington, D.C.’s still-ongoing 2015 Capital Fringe Festival, the mystically brilliant “Altered Archives”.

Brought to the stage by the recently formed MotionX Dance DC and its conceptualizer dream team-of-three Stephanie L. Dorrycott, Lindsay Benson Garrett, and Elysia Greene, Altered Archives is a journey unlike any other, opening a window on the velvet if too-often-tense-and-troubled beauty of people revisiting their memories, people rediscovering the emotion of past moments … people moving beyond words as they relive and inevitably alter these “archives” through lithe, elegant, graceful, sensual dance, spoken words, media art, and the magic of light and dark.

You want to see Altered Archives. You really do!

I may indeed be a dance dolt, still having trouble after all these years figuring out the box step. I count my blessings, though, to have grown up in a New York City during the rich epoch of Oklahoma, South Pacific, My Fair Lady, The Most Happy Fella (remarkable in American uniqueness as a “dance-opera”), West Side Story, and so much more.

Also, lucky for me and so many others, there was and still is the wonderful, absolutely wonderful City Center, plus early-generation off-Broadway creations like “The Fantastiks” that gave literal definition to “black box theater” and made it possible for us less affluent folks to discover and learn so much about music, modern dance, and the performing arts in general.

altered_01That’s my “training” in dance and the performing arts, such as it is. But neither you nor I have to be trained in ballet or modern dance to be cosmically impressed by the creativity and hard work, the commitment and passion, the visual magic of watching people doing what they love … no matter what it is they love.(1)

People’s love for their craft sweeps over us in Altered Archives. Not just the dancers’(2) passionate love for their craft. There’s the choreographers’ love for her art. The visual artist’s. Even the person managing the lighting.

An awe-inspiring commitment and drive to achieve and share excellence is so self-evident in the passionate form and function of the dancers, the choreography, the stage and media art (two tiny snippets: Sample 1 and Sample 2), the ever-evolving stage illumination, and certainly the power of the “story” as it unfolds.

altered_03In Altered Archives, we are watching artists reaching not just for but actually touching the stars. We are more than voyeurs to their world, joined with them — joined to them — as they are swept away by the risk and reward of summoning up memories, of reliving the power of their memories … of discovering how memories change over time.

We let ourselves go and become one with them as they become one with dreams once lived, now recalled. We watch as the unique tide of private memories rush over them, change them. We are witness to their intimacy,  their searching eyes, the flow of their forms, the arc of their fingertips, as the “new” they are feeling for the first time emerges from the “old” they are revisiting. They become us as we become them.

Altered Archives is ethereal magic, the wizardry of one person’s inspiration transformed into fine art by the ardor of special people meeting the challenge of being at their best. We are drawn to them by their hard, hard work and sacrifice, their collaboration, and above all their commitment to one another — a commitment that true artists know to be the only way to successfully offer the exotic, sensual pleasure of fine artistry to the rest of us.

Altered Archives is indeed fine artistry, not only the best (3) that the 2015 Capital Fringe Festival has to offer, but at a level of excellence rivaling any dance production, “fringe” or not, that has been staged anywhere in this wonderful city of Washington D.C. … with two of these marvelous dancers yet in high school … one more reason why you will feel wonderful for choosing to enjoy what MotionX Dance DC is offering.

As I noted above,  you want to see Altered Archives. You really do!  There is one chance left: Saturday, July 25, 2015, at 6:30 PM.  Don’t miss it!

(1) so long as they don’t love to hate and harm (see the blog previous to this about another Capital Fringe performance to understand what I’m talking about).

(2) Credits:
Altered Archives
…presented by MotionX Dance DC in collaboration with Lindsay Benson Garrett
Choreography: Stephanie L. Dorrycott
Guest Choreography: Elysia Greene
Multimedia & Visuals: Lindsay Benson Garrett
Lighting: Mike Garrett
…Elysia Greene
…Brittany Alness
…Sarah Christophersen
…Kayli Hueston
…Sarah Mawyer
…Mary Potts
…Laura Sniegowski,
Photo Credits: top photo: Ruth Judson; othersMotionX Dance DC and Lindsay Benson Garrett

(3) Other reviews: DC Metro Theater Arts; DC Theater Scene; Washington City Paper