Story and photos by Jeffrey K. Morris
Along with more traditional performances in more conventional spaces, Agora Dance is known to break from tradition in both its choreography and its selection of performance spaces—like an alley.
Last month, Agora Dance presented eight 3 Minutes Max pieces in Capital Fringe’s courtyard. Yes, they call it a courtyard and, as it is closed off from traffic, I guess that might be technically correct. But, call it what you will, it’s an alley. Outdoors, narrowly enclosed by the external brick walls of two buildings, with no stage, no theatrical lighting and no dance floor other than a rubber mat taped to the asphalt. In this unconventional space, the Agora dancers performed equally unconventional pieces, each revealing its nature in no more than three minutes, like an amuse-bouche set to motion. And, dressed in street clothes (albeit carefully selected street clothes), Agora danced their unconventional pieces with rather non-traditional movement, such as a trained ballerina waking like an ape or a dancer planted uncomfortable close to an audience member, staring directly into his eyes. Brief, unusual, unexpected and even awkward at times but, like that amuse-bouche, refreshing, delicious and beautifully presented.