Experimental ensemble Witness Relocation presents an offbeat dance/theater performance about the relationship between humans and nature. More…
A follow up to 'Dancing Vs The Rat Experiment' and 'Vicious Dogs on Premise,' 'The Loon' features the company's signature style of extreme theatricality, rough-and-tumble dancing, and pop songs. The evening is inspired by a variety of sources, including 'Voices of the Loon' (an educational record released by the Audubon Society in 1980); the work of sociologist Erving Goffman; 'At Home,' Bill Bryson’s study of the history of domestic life; party games; and director/choreographer Dan Safer's pwn midlife crisis. Robert M. Johanson of the Nature Theater of Oklahoma serves as host of this unusual evening.
"What could easily slip into the experimental theater void as just another play of monologues underscored with modern dance becomes a much deeper study of what it means to be human...The flow of the piece makes it such that everyone will leave with different thoughts about what the past hour of their life just meant, and even about the purpose behind each moment...This special feeling—of having your own individual experience in the theatre—is what makes the piece special." Full Review
"'The Loon' is a funky dance-theater piece that makes for an all-around enjoyable evening...Don’t get caught up in following the story so much as just enjoying each flick of the wrist...Robert M. Johanson, the narrator, was a powerful voice that had the audience drooling over his every word. His presence on stage was undeniably captivating and it didn’t really matter if what he said made sense...The dancers were beautiful, each one unique in character and physicality." Full Review
"Witness Relocation's hidden asset is designer Jay Ryan...The show's weakness is its group dances, made collaboratively by the company...There's a part of me that wonders if the piece needs more seriousness, since even among Witness Relocation's many lighthearted creations, 'The Loon' is a meringue. But hell, seriousness isn't all really worth all that much. Look at Johanson! The more he goes for the gravitas, the more he makes the people laugh." Full Review
"A meditation on middle age that doesn’t want to go gentle...'The Loon' is the kind of show that makes you wonder how differently it would register if you’d inhaled a little deeper when you walked past the guys getting high on your way to the theater. That doesn’t mean it’s messy—it’s not—but it is unafraid of its own strangeness...Mr. Johanson, who wrote the text he speaks, is a benign and amusing presence...His loon calls are deadpan-hilarious. Yet a longing suffuses this show." Full Review
"An intriguing, unfinished-feeling new piece...The choreography is as appealingly resistant to interpretation as the lecture-performance is overly insistent on its messaging. Dance and theater aren't quite so much in dialogue as happening near each other, demonstrating alternate ways of being in time and space...Past Witness Relocation pieces have made a compelling case for the synthesis of dance and theater onstage. 'The Loon' doesn't quite get there." Full Review
"The problem is that this randomness is not pushed far enough to be interesting. 'The Loon' lands in an uncomfortable middle between total unpredictability and a consistent narrative – there are just enough connections within and between parts of the play to make you feel there is a structure, but you are denied an understanding of what it might be...'The Loon' suffers from not committing itself to a full exploration of any of its ideas." Full Review
"Neither the dancing nor the text seems to complement the other, except in a few cohesive moments. The intellectualism from the speaker takes time to digest, and the modern expression from the dancers deserves it own spotlight...The forms rarely meld together, and they are not held together by a unified expression or a concrete story. An audience may be left wondering about the roles they played with each other, but will not likely be moved by the work done on either side." Full Review
See it if you enjoy charming, soothing-voiced speakers, edgy interpretive dance, and science/philosophy mixed with a visual LSD trip.
Don't see it if you want a show with a clear cut, traditional plot, you dislike the experimental and alternative.
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