Leave it to Carrie Hanson – a 2012 Dance Magazine “25 To Watch” – to get an assist from Mother Nature who brought a 20-degree temperature drop and torrential downpour for opening night of Hanson’s new work about the argument around climate change. The drastic weather change was the perfect prelude to opening night of The Seldoms‘ Exit Disclaimer: Science and Fiction Ahead at the Dance Center of Columbia College.
As she did in her 2011 hit STUPORMARKET about the financial crisis, Hanson again incorporates voice overs of lectures and debate points from scientists and politicians to make her points with clarity and humor. (I have to admit hearing Newt Gingrich repeat the line – “I’m an amateur paleontologist” – creeped me out.) The dancers verbally add their own twisted talking points to show the absurdity of the extremes in this debate.
Hanson is lucky to have a small, but tight and strong ensemble of six dancers that have worked with her for a number of years. Philip Elson, Damon Green, Amanda McAlister, Javier Marchan Ramos, Bruce Ortiz and Cara Sabin “get” her and are excellent purveyors of her vision. They are fearless – and they need to be considering some of the death-defying partnering Hanson asks them to perform. In colorful pedestrian clothes, they ran, dove, slid and spun with full abandon. An opening duet in, on and around an old-school elementary desk let the audience know they were in for something abstract and unique. Hanson’s intelligence and playful style was also on full display as she included cigarettes, bananas, chocolate eclairs, garbage, snow globes and recurring references to Malibu Barbie and “big ass lettuce”. A clever turn where the dancers peel each others feet off of the stage with metal spatulas grows into actually cooking and eating gluten-free, organic pancakes on stage! (McAlister got the brunt of the feeding and had to hoard away pancakes squirrel-like in her cheeks to continue dancing.)
Hilarious, fun, dangerous, exciting, thoughtful and well done. The Seldoms, and Hanson, seem to have another hit on their hands.