Dance review: KDH Dance Company’s “True Stories”

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KDH Dance Company's "True Stories." Photo by Stephen Pruitt.

(This review is written by American-Statesman freelance arts critic Claire Christine Spera.)

 

At Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company’s “True Story,” a series of doors lines the edges of the Salvage Vanguard Theater stage in representation of the many truths that can be revealed from a single story.

“Truth” — and all its variances — is what artistic director Kathy Dunn Hamrick and her eight dancers explore in this hour-long piece with strategic lighting by Stephen Pruitt and set to an original score by Jacob Hamrick.

KDH Dance Company's "True Stories." Photo by Stephen Pruitt.

KDH Dance Company’s “True Stories.” Photo by Stephen Pruitt.

At the beginning of the piece, the dancers present themselves in the raw, wearing muted clothing in beige, white, grey; they are distilled down to their very essences. They move together confidently, solidly.

There are moments of pause when they stare straight into the eyes of the audience unabashedly.

“Tell us the truth, and nothing but the truth,” they seem to say. “We challenge you.”

But what is the truth?

It morphs physically in “True Story.” The dancers take turns exiting the stage, only to reemerge wearing colorful tops.

The truth is blue, peach, green; you pick. Life is colored with individual perspectives.

There is a spilling quality to the dancer’s motions that, in one section with five women, gives way to a “fling and freeze” pattern: Toss a limb and freeze, toss another and stop again.

Meanwhile, as dancers continue to rotate in and out of the stage via the doors, their shirts become bolder in style and color. They knock, are admitted to the space, and repeat.

KDH Dance Company's "True Stories." Photo by Stephen Pruitt.

KDH Dance Company’s “True Stories.” Photo by Stephen Pruitt.

Are things becoming more distorted, or simply truer? The performance opens us up to the many forms of truth: biased truth, inconceivable truth and that elusive “Truth” with a capital T.

Ultimately, it is through the distortion that things become clearer.

There is no one truth; there never was.


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