Things have been good lately for Attack Theatre. For instance, to mark the popular troupe's 15th anniversary, Pittsburgh City Council proclaimed Jan. 21 "Attack Theatre Day."
So it was only fitting in Show #58 -- which opened at the New Hazlett Theater that very day -- the company rewarded fans with four works exemplifying the unique vision and style local audiences have come to cherish.
The program opened with 2010's "R.A.M." (Random Accumulated Memories). The work addressed our obsession with electronically recording the events in our lives at the expense of fully participating in them.
In "R.A.M.," new company member Simon Thomas-Train was a character who sat in front of giant computer monitor surrounded by recording devices (camera, camcorders). When he chose to interact with the three other dancers, he did so only while recording those interactions and then playing them back on his computer. The decidedly playful and carefree work had the dancers toying with such props as a pole and camera equipment in clever ways, and dancing in a sort of "catch me if you can" movement style. It was all done to perhaps the most satisfying musical score longtime Attack music director Dave Eggar and his bandmates from Deoro have performed for a company work.
Next, Attack co-directors Michele de la Reza and Peter Kope reprised their 1996 duet "Typeset," a film-noir spoof about a writer and his starlet muse, where the tapping-out of thoughts on vintage steel typewriters controlled the actions of the two dancers to delightful comedic effect.
The program's most lush sensory offering was 2008's "Trapped," set to Somei Satoh's minimalist classical composition "Trio." Bands of light projected on the stage floor acted to confine the work's four dancers in solitary spaces. The solemn mood and the dancers' slow, fluid movement suggested an emotional prison as well as a physical one. Both the dancing and the live performance of Satoh's score by Eggar and company were memorable.
The program closed with 2011's "Beginnings," a lively work built, like "R.A.M.," on a singular theme -- that of beginnings, such as of a book or a new life. It too employed props, like stacks of books and several dodge balls, to imaginative effect.
Attack Theatre performs Show #58. 8 p.m. nightly Wed., Jan. 26-Sat., Jan. 29. New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side; $15-25. 412-394-3353 or www.proartstickets.org
- Photo courtesy of Matthew Kleinrock.
- Attack Theatre performs "Trapped."