Friday, October 14, 2016

Witness Relocation answers the call of "The Loon"

L-r: Eva Jaunzemis, Robert M. Johanson and Dan Safer in The Loon,
a world premiere by Safer's Witness Relocation
(photo: Maria Baranova)

Early into The Loon--Witness Relocation's new show at Abrons Arts Center--I surrendered. I knew I had no way to keep pace as its writer/monologist, Robert M. Johanson, raced through a discourse on time, on muon particles and on chaos and its possible comforts. His outpouring of words threw out a tensile, almost visible barrier between the audience and Dan Safer's dance ensemble despite the close quarters of Abrons's Experimental Theater. Safer and chorus hit back with robust gesture, churning bustle, smoldering glamour with an aura of danger; Kaz PS hit back with a barrage of projected imagery, dazzling and ambiguous. But Johanson remained a gravitational force to be reckoned with.

"How do you feel when he moon is full? Do you find yourself having strange thoughts?" he asks.

Described as "a knock-down-drag-out, dance/theater show based on 1. an educational record about loons; 2 sociologist Erving Goffman; 3. the western house; 4. late night parties that last until the next morning," The Loon is 60 minutes of overload punctuated with hostility, distraction, drunken wrenching about and tender slow-dancing to a song about sex and death. During that hour, you learn stuff--like how surprisingly easy it is for your mind to cough up two handfuls of small memories, or what are four types of cries a loon makes and the purpose of each. It is full-moon strange, indeed, a seductive collage with vibrant performances from Alexa Andreas, Kelly Bartnik, Sunny Hitt, Annie Hoeg, Eva Jaunzemis, Johanson, Vanessa Koppel, Trevor Salter and Safer.

The Loon continues through October 29. For schedule and ticketing information, click here.

Abrons Arts Center (Experimental Theater)
466 Grand Street (between Pitt and Willett Streets), Manhattan
(map/directions)

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