July 12, 2013


Filed under: Atlanta music,dance — Frederick Noble @ 12:05 pm Share RSS

Saturday evening we trekked over to Edgewood and Boulevard, in the parking lot adjacent to Sound Table, for a performance by gloATL. Thanks to the constant threat of rain we’ve been under, seemingly for months, there wasn’t that large of a crowd. Had there been more spectators there, they would’ve had to block off the streets. Instead, we found a three-deep square of people lurking at the edges of the lot as the performers did their thing on a big, blue expanse of indoor/outdoor carpet.

gloATLgloATL does dance like you’ve never seen before – unless you’ve seen another gloATL performance. Their jerky, almost anti-graceful style reminds me of watching movies backwards or epileptics in slow motion or damaged machines slowly tearing themselves apart. This performance included a brief shout-along to a Talking Heads tune, as well as a speech by one dancer, something about, “You’re not from around here, you couldn’t possibly know what it’s like,” which most people couldn’t really hear. Otherwise the show was familiar if you’ve seen their work before. The show’s theme was supposedly freedom, but this was expressed through lots of slow motion wrestling, so slow it was more like posing as dancers strained against each other.






As often happens with this group, dancers left the ‘stage’ to interact with the crowd, a few even trapping a group of onlookers against the wall to dance and writhe against them. Other dancers moved outside the crowd, eventually crossing the busy street do move down the opposite sidewalk. The show ended with dancers filing off into neighboring bars and restaurants. I doubt you’d see anything like this at Atlanta Ballet.


gloATLgloATL performances are really fascinating the first time. The sixth time, however, it starts to feel more than a little redundant. I found myself watching the crowd or enjoying the dance the photographers were having to do to get a shot. I’d like to see gloATL attempt more of a mix of grace and awkwardness. I suspect it would make both ends seem more extreme. They have used some interesting spaces in fantastic ways, such as the empty pool over on the west side or the thing they did with opera singers amongst those ghastly cinder block tower sculptures west of L5P, but this time the space added nothing. Still, worth seeing, especially for free. If you haven’t seen a gloATL performance, I can’t recommend it strongly enough. There are some other performances coming over the next couple of weeks. Get thee to Google!

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