Friday, August 07, 2009

Traveling Light

Traveling Light
Joe Goode Performance Group
The Old Mint Building
Thu Aug 6 10pm

I had a feeling this was going to be interesting when I arrived last night at 9:30 & there was already a crowd assembled on the steps of the Old Mint at Mission & 5th to see Traveling Light, a site-specific performance installation by the Joe Goode Performance Group. Once the doors were opened, we were allowed into the brick-lined vaults downstairs. Inside some of the darkened vaults were eerie performance installations. I think everyone was creeped out by the man behind the bank teller's grating, trying to hand us money.

The actual show took place back upstairs. We were split into 4 groups & moved around to witness performances in 5 spaces. Dancers constantly move between rooms, & there are remote-controlled lighting & music effects in each space. At one point we were cleverly led past the technicians monitoring the rooms on computer screens.

The general theme of money was approached obliquely, through scenarios ranging from a sexy 19th century belle in a bustle to contemporary troubles with joblessness. The attractive & hard-working company talked, sang & danced athletically. The production made thrilling use of the space. Performers might be very close or just glimpsed through windows & doors. Seated in the central courtyard, I was awed to look up & see the conjunction of the Moon & Jupiter last night.

There was a sense of this being a unique event. At the end we all gathered back in the lobby, where Joe Goode & the company appeared for our applause & cheers. Mr. Goode thanked us for turning out for the 10pm show & for trying to "turn this cow-town into a late-night city." To be fair, this was no later than a typical opera audience gets out, though he did draw an unusually good-looking audience.

Right now I feel very lucky to have seen this, as the show is sold out for the remaining weekend. It would be excellent if they could add more shows.

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