And&And&And is a piece created by Peter Redgrave and Lynne Price. The two artists created their work by the structure of various improvisation games leaving this show performed with only improvisation. Audience participation was used multiple times in this performance. Redgrave and Price created their own live soundtrack of breathing, stomping, clapping, spoken word from audience members, and singing within the performance. This performance was the first featured in the second BIDA season and was performed at Church on the Square.
When viewers entered the space, they saw gorgeous swirl patterns of red yarn all over the floor and white Christmas lights hanging from the ceiling. We were told to sit in different areas in the space, ranging from the sides of the room, the front of the room, and the balcony in the back of the space. This created the effect that there wasn’t a ‘front’ facing for the dancers and each viewer would have a different perspective of the performance.
And&And&And begins with Redgrave standing in the doorway and Price enters from the opposite direction. They slowly walk on the red yarn facing each other, both wearing a short blue patterned toga with yarn tied around their waist, while holding green yarn in their hands. They began flinging their green yarn loosely toward each other, which mushed the beautiful red yarn pattern all together. They both shifted their weight front and back as they swung their green yarn and rotated to face the opposite wall they were facing, still swinging their yarn. Redgrave remained with an up and down swing of the yarn and Price swung hers side to side as she twisted her torso right and left. The red yarn became a pile of noodles at their feet after the shifting and swinging of their green yarn.
Naturally, their individual green yarns get tangled like a web. They each take turns sticking their arms and legs into the holes of the web they created. The two found a beautiful counterbalance with each other, pulling their green yarn away from each other. Price then shifts to the floor and Redgrave pulls her around, by the yarn, slowly and then eventually running fast in a circle with the green yarn at his hips. Price slides along behind him holding onto the yarn.
Price then breaks away from the green yarn to perform indirect and flowy, yet powerful movements. Her head swept down to the floor and suspended her body up before her head led her to roll. She continued by putting weight into her hands, extending her leg up. Price then does a slight wiggle of her knees and pelvis while actively exhaling. Redgrave then moves into the same characteristic of movement quality of his dance partner, but done in a different way. He did many turns while off balance, which were so fun to watch, and carved his arms in space. Suddenly, Redgrave looks as if he can’t breathe. He points to his open mouth and stiffens his body. Price began making an “ahhhhh” panting sound to accompany her wiggling. She walks backwards with her head up and mouth still open. Redgrave moves internally, creeping forward with little steps, and gets smaller in his steps by holding his knees with his hands. It is as if he is trying to find his balance in this moment if he were walking on a tightrope. Price changes her exhale sound to an “ohhhh” and she slowly descends to the floor and finds stillness there. Redgrave finally audibly inhales, which initiates the next movement.
Price pops up from the floor and begins moving her body in different directions very quickly as she was saying things like “And I’m going to keep talking while I’m moving”. Price’s movements involved many twists and scooting of her feet. Redgrave began talking and moving as well saying things like “I choose not to stop it”. His movements involved stomping and jumping to make percussive sounds with his body. Price noticed her dance partner stop talking during his percussive movement and said “use our words Peter!” This section of the performance was so full and striking because the dancers were saying two different things in two different ways and moving completely different at the same time. I really wanted to listen and watch both of their dancing dialogues individually since they were both doing and saying such interesting things. Price was talking and moving very fast while Redgrave was speaking very intentionally, like a monologue, and he moved in a similar manner. Redgrave then says “It. Just. Keeps. Going” which initiated Price’s aerobic bouncing on her feet and a skittering bourree from Redgrave. Price then grabs the red yarn, which is now a tangled pile, and wears it around her neck like a scarf.
These two artists work so well together throughout this piece as they really listened to each other physically and audibly. A beautiful moment that demonstrated this was when Price was lying on the ground face down and Redgrave laid his body on top of hers for a moment of stillness. One of them exhaled a big puff of air that broke their bodies apart into their own individual movement again. Finding that long pause and breaking away at the same time after that long puff of air took great body communication. These two were performing their own movement phrases after they separated, but they both were throwing their arms up repeatedly. Redgrave then stood by a group of viewers and Price stood by another. They were throwing their arms up and looking at us intently. They kept doing this and Price started laughing. Then one audience member caught on: the dancers were trying to get us to do the wave! Eventually, almost all of the audience members were doing the wave around the whole space.
While we were still doing the wave, Price gets a microphone and told one of the viewers sitting behind me to start talking about waves. He began saying things like “it starts calm and then it grows”. The microphone got passed on to the two other people beside me, and to me as well. “Ice in the waves”, “Huge waves!”, “There is salt in your hair”, “Woosh!”, and “Waves” were said by the viewers. What was fun about this part of the piece was that an audio tool was used to make the viewers’ words record and repeat on a loop as it was played. “Huge waves!” was my favorite part to hear. The viewers’ recorded voices became the soundtrack for this duet’s movement. As these words were heard, Redgrave reacted to the words. He moved his body loosely one side to another as if he was being tossed about in the ocean. Price joined the physical reactions as well as our voice recordings continued to play. Price waved her body beginning with her head and snaked down to her tail. She also scooped her arms in and out, moving as if she were the waves we were talking about. Price then got audience participation again. Hanging from the balcony were strings of green yarn and Price prompted the people sitting in the balcony to twirl the yarn to add to the wave inspired movements.
This led into Price directing one side of the audience in singing “na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye”. Redgrave led the opposite side of the audience in the same tune, so the whole audience was singing in a canon. The artists finish this piece by chasse-ing sideways in a circle facing each other and playfully swinging their arms with smiles while the audience was still singing. They end by giving the musical ‘rest’ symbol in both of their hands held above their heads.
And&And&And was one of my favorite pieces that I’ve seen a while. This piece invigorated me as it was so playful and was filled with games and movement, for movements’ sake. I left the Church on the Square with a smile on my face and wished that all dance could be this fun. I am so pleased to know these artists and I definitely applaud their bravery because being so free and so bold in front of an audience is not easy.
By Shianne Antoine