Attack Theatre’s Are You Still There? at the Pittsburgh Coliseum | Program Notes

Attack Theatre’s Are You Still There? at the Pittsburgh Coliseum

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The dance company got its 20th season off to a strong start with this new work for five dancers, staged with live music in the big, hardwood-floored spaces of Homewood’s Pittsburgh Coliseum.

Brittanie Brown
  • Photo courtesy of Carl Thorborg
  • Brittanie Brown
For a dance show taking place in a former roller rink, Are You Still There? is appropriately playful, even playground-like. In one sequences, dancers take turns getting dragged across the floor on a gym-class parachute. On a stage adorned with old-school telephones, however, the show’s signature prop is an extra-long phone cord (actually a cable in disguise) slung through a pulley mounted in the ceiling; dancers used the handsets on either end to pull each other into the air.

A four-piece band fronted by vocalist Richard Hutchins, of Hutch Simon Project, provided a vibrant soundtrack, from jazz and Latin-tinged pieces to contemporary pop. The jazz instrumental that backed the fine group dance that wrapped the work’s first act was a highlight.

Even so, the biggest revelation of the evening was probably the Attack debut of Brittanie Brown. The young, Juilliard-trained dancer moves with amazing fluidity and control. (I wasn’t the only one who thought so; as a fellow patron put it at intermission, “She’s incredible!”)

Brown and another guest dancer, James Johnson, joined company members Dane Toney, Ashley Williams and Kaitlin Dann.

Brown has another local connection: She’s a former member of Kyle Abraham AIM, the troupe run by the eponymous rising-star, Pittsburgh-native dancer-choreographer. Let’s hope we see more of her in the future.

Are You Still There?, choregraphed by Attack co-founders and co-artistic directors Peter Kope and Michele de la Reza, has four more performances, Tuesday through Friday of this week.

Tickets are $10-40 (the $10 tickes are for residents of Homewood/zip code 15208).

More info is here.

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