Dearly Departures: “A Long Way… A Longer Distance Call”

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As ambient as the music, the rest of the dancers, Alex Abarca, Anna Bracewell, Clair Molla and Erik Thurmond, have been waiting Stage Left as though lounging during a long international layover. Stoically lined up, they join the action adding texture and design to the space flipping their hands up and down in a staccato fashion.

The ensemble begins to interact with long attitudes and soft toes. As the audience gets lost in the intertwining duets, we find ourselves being interrupted by ringing coming from the old fashioned telephone booth. Molla answers with a hesitant “Hello.”

This was a highlight of the evening as the dancers start voicing questions, turning the soundtrack into a cacophony of live sound, almost getting tangled up in the long mic cord. When they just can’t seam to reach the mysterious person on the other end the mic, is put back on the receiver and the journey begins again.

What I really enjoy about Beckham’s piece is her ability to transform the space by manipulating movement. At one point, the dancers lie down and roll as though they are on an incline, while Bracewell struggles to keep them from falling off whatever imaginary platform they are on. In another moment, the ensemble is flat to the audience walking and eventually running back and forth, engaging us as though we are all across the tracks at Little Five Points Marta train station. While the Split Flip creates a “thought bubble” with the repetition of “Sorry… Sorry… Sorry… So… So… So… So…” As though we are all part of the roly-poly, pell-mell, tumble-bumble of rush hour traffic.

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