Chutzpah! Fest 2017: Telemetry - Shay Kuebler Radical System Art

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Telemetry | Shay Kuebler / Radical System Art | Chutzpah! Festival 2017 | Norman and Annette Rothstein Theatre | February 18 – 21, 2017

At last year’s Chutzpah! Festival, Shay Kuebler presented Telemetry as a work in progress. This year, after a second residency with Chutzpah!, he presented the full-length work. This time, the tap stylings of Danny Nielson were incorporated throughout, and the choreography was even more bold, determined, and relentless.

The show began with a tap solo from Neilson at the front of the stage, showing off his rhythm and smooth moves as his tapping activated lights at the edge of the stage. These lights along with the white motion activated surface of the stage that displayed shadows and interesting patterns gave the show a futuristic feel and it was nice to see more of that incorporated as well.

Kuebler and five other dancers began to slink across a dark stage, as one light swung eerily back and forth. We saw only bits and pieces of their movements as they moved quickly on and off stage. This ebb and flow coalesced as all of the dancers took the stage, moving in pulsing unison. Often connected to each other and morphing as one unit, there was a clear connection among all of them as they effortlessly glided through their sequences.

As they flowed endlessly back and forth from one side of the stage to the other as if waves were rocking the stage, Nielson kept tapping, moving around them in a circle, always on the edge of the action. His rhythms complemented the choreography well, often in direct conversation with some of the other dancers as they imitated his moves in their own way.   

This barrage of powerful movement, with the dancers constantly throwing themselves across the stage while, jumping, rolling, and diving, was an impressive display of physical stamina and was mesmerizing to watch. Another highlight was an emotional duet between Kuebler and Lexi Vajda that stood out amidst the flowing group dynamic.   

While I think the piece could have been trimmed a little bit to avoid it feeling repetitive, it was still hugely enjoyable to watch and is a very impressive work from Kuebler.

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