Megan Harrold of Nashville, who like Wright is a graduate of VCU's Dance and Choreography department, showed a solo and duet that made me wish she was in Chicago for more than just a weekend. “Solitude with Others” found her being tossed around by an tall, bearded fellow (Joseph Hudson) in boots whose side-parted, wavy black hair made him look like a old-timey prospector reluctantly gussied up for Sunday dinner. Harrold plays the top — she stands on his chest and he does a few bench-presses with her stiff body — but Charlie Rauh’s music placed a frame of frayed love around their rough/tender dynamic. Three-part solo “Interpreting the Rub,” meanwhile, was a pure-movement investigation strongly reminiscent of Trisha Brown’s proximal initiations and complexly minuscule reorganizations of momentum. “Solitude” in its pedestrianism merely hints at Harrold’s technical skill, but “Rub” puts it on a plinth and it’s quite remarkable to watch. I hope Wright lures her back to town for another appearance soon.
Zachary Whittenburg 9/13/2009
Megan Harrold’s particular interest lies in using text to create movement (this is explained extensively in a pamphlet handed out before the show). She composes using a novel system that links the intervals of the alphabet to specific motions as well as musical notes. Here, movement and music have the same derivation. How unusual that a seemingly prosaic source can inspire emotional subject matter. Now Let Me Be Still, a solo choreographed and performed by Harrold, toys with equilibrium versus instability. Her dark dress against the white background of CPR subtly underscores these points. Accompanied by guitarist Charlie Ruch, Harrold moves like warm molasses, lusciously articulating with her every joint.
Harrold’s second piece, a partnership with Treeline Dance Works, is a tribute to the Nashville Public Library, a gathering place for the artistically minded. As a young adult living in Nashville, she’d spent a considerable amount of time there.
Harrold addresses clichés associated with libraries. Her dancers are costumed in fashionably clean-cut dresses and sport red, thick-rimmed glasses to exemplify nerds. Huge stacks of books line the periphery. I find this clever and amusing, but isn’t Harrold trying to highlight the wonder of her library and not lump it with a stereotype?
Throughout the piece, Harrold scribbles mysterious notes that are illuminated and projected in the upper left corner of the stage. Her scribblings are linked to the pamphlet handed out earlier. Nashville Public Library requests that the audience read extensively to find their own conclusions. The intricacies of the performance are intellectually compelling, but perhaps a bit much for most passively inclined audience members.
Theodora Boguszewski 12/7/2017