Put on your red shoes and dance the blues
Dancing in the Third Act played to two sold out evening performances at Kings Theatre August 23 and 24 and to a packed house on August 25.
By Heather Killen
(Editor’s Note: Dancing in the Third Act played to sold-out seats Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at King’s Theatre in Annapolis Roayl.)
Maybe it’s fitting that a dance company conceived in Annapolis Royal would be born out of time.
While ‘The Company of Angels’ started rehearsing Dancing in The Third Act in June, it’s been 800 years in the making, according to its director and choreographer.
Randy Glynn said he first had the idea to create this work after producing the flash mob last year in the Annapolis Royal market.
“I began to wonder if I could build a strong work of art with untrained people, my friends,” he said. “I also wanted to create a process, or dance class that would be nonthreatening and unchallenging.
“I developed a series of situations using real life situations and gestures. What you see is who each person is, interacting as they are. There is a combined 800 years of experience behind this work.”
The Company of Angels, Annapolis Royal’s newest dance company, consists of: Pamela Barron, George Barron, Phil Roberts, Melissa Keddie, Terry Roscoe, Wayne Boucher, Susan Tileston, Nathaniel Tileston, John Mildon, Adrian Nette, Sally O’Grady, and Grace Butland.
Inspired by Pina Bausch’s “Kontakhoff,” Glynn began to build his production around these dozen seniors. Six of the 12 were part of the original flash mob, and gradually over the past 12 weeks, Glynn has devised a series of moving scenarios to build this production around his company.
“Like any good design, it simply draws out the inherent beauty of what is already there,” he says. “Good choreography will do that, we aren’t doing hip-hop or ballet. It’s these people being who they are.”
Like “Kontakhoff” the choreographed exchanges are often mapped around matching rows of chairs. Glynn builds humourous fail-safes into the scenarios and movements, ensuring that any missteps are interpreted as inherent quirks in the work of humanity.
The 12 scenarios are staged around various relationship themes, a heartfelt dance of life. The production moves between the battles of couples, to the solitudes of grief and regret.
Glynn plots the movements to an eclectic range of music from Swing, to Mumford and Sons, and shamelessly borrows moves from the Tai Chi group often seen practicing nearby in the marketplace.
While he brushes aside this last choice as ‘cheap choreography,’ anyone brave enough to join Dancing in the Third Act will have a warrior’s heart, naturally lending The Way into the sequence.
Terry Roscoe, formerly of finance and illustration now dancer, says she started taking Tai Chi and yoga when she turned 50. She admits to being one of those closet dancers who boogies around her house, but never actually thought she’d be dancing on the stage.
“I told Randy I wanted to build muscle tone and he said I would,” she said. “I have. It’s been a fun physical workout.”
Wayne Boucher, abstract artist turned dancer, says that although he’s been dancing with his paintings for quite some time, he admits that this new medium of expression is a bit challenging.
“We’ve been coming for about nine hours a week,” he said. “This time I’m one of the pigments and Randy is the artist trying to pull us all together.”
Adrian Nette, carpenter turned dancer, says at first he found the process a bit peculiar and he wasn’t sure where Glynn was going. And then it was amazing to him after a few weeks.
“In the beginning it was very fragmented, but he was seeing what fit us,” said Nette. “He was finding out who and what we were and then brought each person into play. But then the best things are built using what’s the best of what’s around you. That’s when I thought this guy is a genius.”