Dancers were sometimes musicians, the musician was sometimes a painter, and the space itself used to be an auto-repair garage in Uptown. It was now expertly transformed into a theater for three weekends for Attack Theatre’s multimedia contemporary dance work Laws of Attraction. Chairs climbed the wall, boxes sat stacked, a climbing net hung; also occupying the several levels of stage space were a huge rope and a magnetic shape board.
But while the show by Attack co-artistic directors Peter Kope and Michele de la Reza is inspired by laws of science, it’s rooted, as is everything in life, in a love story. As humans we love to dissect and analyze, but down deep we just want to be happy and in love.
At this past Friday’s premiere, the evening began with spoken word, introducing the audience to the relationship we were to navigate throughout the evening. The concept of gravity’s pull provided an apt metaphor for a couple trying to decide “what to do now.” Dancer Dane Toney came careening out on stage on a hover board, pulling a rolling cart of typewriters, a literal representation of the narration we were hearing. (Who better to use a hover board than a dancer? In fact, the whole company later mounted boards for a touching ensemble piece.)
The audience is taken through the tumultuous and emotional time in this relationship, set to a wide variety of music including classical, jazz, funk, rock, Spanish and live percussion (and painting) by long-time Attack Theatre collaborator Ian Green. All this while the company explored different scientific concepts using such props as a sphere, a lever and magnets. One section featured a human-sized fulcrum (think adult see-saw), which made for a stunning onstage vignette.
While there was a lot of cool “stuff” to look at, most of all you should go to see Laws of Attraction for the dancing. The beautifully trained company of Toney, Kaitlin Dann, Nile Alicia Ruff, Anthony Williams and Ashley Williams offered interesting duets and trios, and juicy ensemble dances. Throughout this evening-long piece the dancers take a journey that is at times loud and energetic, and then quiet and thoughtful.