“What I’m thinking about when I set the dance is how you can’t really personify loneliness. It’s a feeling. So how can you get loneliness in a space?” Michael Figueroa says of “Perpetual Loneliness,” one of the pieces the Cambridge-based company Ruckus Dance performs as part of “Baby’s First Show” at the Dance Complex in Cambridge from April 27 to 29. (“Perpetual Loneliness” is seen here in photos from a rehearsal last night.)
This weekend’s shows represent the group’s evening-length debut. It collects post-modern and process-driven pieces that they’ve performed in local festivals and split bills since the company formed in 2015. The night includes Figueroa stripping down to a jockstrap and rolling around on skates, a fight involving baguettes and bread rolls, a bit of wrestling, audience participation, improvisation, and all sorts of other serious contemporary dance.
“Perpetual Loneliness,” for example, was directed by Figueroa and choreographed in collaboration with the dancers Caitlin Canty, Rosevan Vickery, Sonia Santvoord, Maggie Foster and Sasha Peterson. They developed solo dances from a list of actions he drafted, then he “lightly edited it” and added more actions. In addition to music by Beth Anderson, sounds include audio from an auction.
Ruckus aims “to actually get this to be socially engaging,” Figueroa says. “Instead of just being based in the body, it’s based in the human in the body. … The person gets to communicate with the audience rather than the audience just look at them.”
Or as he writes in the program: “’Baby’s First Show,’ in addition to being an evening concert debut, is an effort to take a step out of choreography and find what it means to make concert dance a social endeavor. It involves the humanizing of the performer, and the confrontation that emerges when you are approached directly. In some dances, you are as much on display as we are.”
Photos copyright 2018 Greg Cook.
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