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"the sum of 4 / + 1" - by Nina Muzzi, Behind the Curtain

Posted by imeedanceco on October 26, 2015 at 1:00 PM

the sum of 4 / + 1

Written by Nina Muzzi, Behind the Curtain 

October 23, 2015

On Saturday, October 10th, 2015 I had the pleasurable experience of attending an iMEE performance, entitled; "the sum of 4 / + 1", at the Megley Black Box Theatre on the Salve Regina University campus. Fluid movements, sharp transitions, and a universal story unfolded right in front of our eyes.


The mood was set, the audience walked into an intimate black box theatre, in silence, passing by dancers who were already posed onstage. To our front, the performer's backs were to us, dressed all in black against a video projection of wheat blowing in the wind. One of the dancers was sitting at a table.


As the performance unfolded, the intimacy of the space created an even more intense feeling of living out the story that the dancers were telling us. We were taken on a journey of love, loneliness, happiness, death, and reminiscing. The window let us peer into the lives of the players; sometimes we are lucky enough or perceptive enough to peer into the lives of those around us, or even ourselves.


To touch upon the fringe of what was experienced; we are all on our own journeys, people come and go throughout our lives that have touched us in many ways and have shifted our paths in many directions. We look into other's lives, we look into our own lives, we let people look into our lives, we let society dictate what is seen through our windows, and yet we "try" not to. This piece may have thousands of meanings but I think just igniting a conversation about issues that are more substantial than skin deep is a magnificent feat that iMee should be applauded for!


We all go through the same journeys in life regardless of status or demographic. We have basic primal needs; subsistence, protection, affection, understanding, participation, leisure, creation, identity, & freedom. We tend to branch off into different directions when one or more of our primal needs aren't being fulfilled.


I shift to the more technical aspects of the show and reflect on those for a little bit. The costumes that were chosen were black dress pants and suit jackets with nude body suits underneath. I loved the simplicity of what they had chosen. For me it symbolized how we are all stripped down to a basic human form regardless of what frills and statuses we hold in everyday life. We are all the same on a human level.


The lighting (Urban Uproar Productions) and video (Oliver Halkowich) design were very interesting. For such an intimate space, the lights created areas and moods that told a story even when there was no movement onstage. The shadows that the lighting created were, in essence, extensions of the set, actors, and emotions that drove home their messages even stronger. One thing I would like to see would be more interaction between the video and performers. Perhaps that might be something iMee consider in the future.


The music for "the sum of 4 / + 1" included a wide variety of artists; from Robert Plante and Alison Krauss to Doris Day and Jimmy Soul to Max Richter. Each piece of music accompanied the performance in the perfect way.


The set consisted of a "floating" window, a table, & chairs. I felt that they were all used well in the pieces. to me, the window represented the many metaphorical "windows" we look into on a daily basis. The table and chairs made me think of the different relationships we have with people in our lives.


There are countless ways of interpreting "the sum of 4 / + 1" and we could discuss the philosophies of human nature for days, but I for one, appreciate the raw intensity that iMee consistently has in their performances. There is something innate within a person that connects them to this work on another level, whatever that may be for you. This was one of those performances where you see sound and you hear colors.


A job well done to the fabulous Alan Alberto, Cristian Laverde Konig, and Brit Wallis! Huge kudos to co-founding directors; Spencer Gavin Hering & Andrea Dawn Shelley! Cheers to all! I can not wait to see iMee's next venture!


ABOUT the AUTHOR / Behind the Curtain is a blog designed by Nina Muzzi's Technical Theatre class.  BTC writes about theatre in their neighborhoods, school, and the theatre world at large!  What is going on Behind the Curtain?

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