Modern In Motion IV Opening Night keeps audience on their toes

By Natalie Covher

SONY DSC
Audience members stepped back in time on opening night of Modern In Motion IV Tuesday, Oct. 18 at the Sweet Cane Inn. Cast members use dance instead of words to convey a story revolving around the anniversary of a beloved elderly couple. Audience members choose what characters to follow since different scenes happen at the same time in different areas of the three story bed and breakfast.

The night of the Gala is Thursday, Oct. 20. Gala tickets are $45 in advance and $50 at the door and include a reception at a local restaurant after the performance. Performances on Oct. 21 and 23 are $7 in advance and $10 at the door. All performances except the Gala are $7 for students.

Everyone who attends the show is required to wear a mask. Besides uniting the audience, the masks also helps the performers who are unmasked stand out. Opposite of traditional theatre, this show will have you chasing characters up and down stairs to catch thought provoking scenes that play out in dimly lit rooms. The almost eerie live music plays on your emotions, at times lulling you into a trance and at other times alerting you to movement in other areas.

Since you can’t open any closed doors your sense of wonder and interest are peaked when you head towards a room to find you missed your chance as you see the door close. In turn, your sense of inclusion and a touch of alarm are experienced when a door closes and you’re inside. At times it feels as though you are a voyeur, watching the cast through a one-way mirror, but other times that plane is broken when a cast member reaches for your arm and directs you to sit, dance or leave the room.

The beautiful choreography reveals characters’ emotions and interests. Towards the end of the evening two love stories play out. The couples dance through the intimate moment and the connection between the characters is palatable. Choreographer Brett Garfinkel wants guests to feel like they’re up close and personal with the characters. The dancing portrays an array of emotions including lust, contempt, love, agony and glee.

The Sweet Cane Inn is the perfect stage for the story-lined based performance of immersive dance. Unlike stage sets with backdrops and props, everything seems natural and realistic. The costumes work well for the 70s theme and for showcasing movement during dance. Most of the hair and makeup is simple with the exception of the performers portraying the elderly couple. In this case the makeup adds the additional years to the college student’s faces.

The members of the cast are Skilynn Fontenot, Leonard Harris, Rachel Taylor, Elaina Guerrero, Taylor Young, Katherine Langlois, Marissa McMickens, Jayzen Boger and Logan Terrell. Music is by Kisatchie Sound, which consists of Matt Petty, David Steele and James Leach.
There will only be 50 people allowed for each performance so it’s recommended to reserve tickets in advance. For tickets contact Brett Alan Garfinkel at 318- 357-5788 or email garfinkelb@nsula.edu. The Gala is sponsored by the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission.