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A CurtainUp Review
Fire Throws

By Jenny Sandman
I thought that was how I could control my story—to die. A martyr for a cause. But what did my sacrifice achieve?—-Antigone
Fire Throws
Laura Butler and Erica Berg in Fire Throws
Fire Throws is not quite a dance piece and not quite a play. The players are not dancers, but actors who dance. The dance pieces are narrative where they shouldn't be and interpretive in places that need more narrative. It's a very pretty piece, but ultimately it feels like a well-done senior year Juilliard project. It lacks depth, and despite the heavy use of red and orange, it also lacks any real warmth.

Adapted from Sophocles Fire Throws weaves the story of the classical Antigone with her modern, 2400-year-old counterpart. The modern Antigone looks back on her younger self and attempts to make sense of it all. Of course, in a modern setting, her story doesn't make much sense. Martyrdom for any cause is no longer fashionable, especially for a cause like burying your brother. It's a noble gesture, and standing up to Creon's megalomania is admirable, but it's hardly worth dying for and on some level Antigone knows that—especially when her rumination is measured by what her life could have become. She could have been a queen, could have had children, known love. Instead she died, chained in a cave, victim of her own youthful stubbornness.

The production is a swirl of competing imagery, dances, colors and sounds. At times it is stark, with Ingmar Bergman-like black-and-white video projections and long shadows. At other times it is a riot of color and light and long red silk scarves. Again, it's a very pretty show and technically almost brilliant. But it ultimately felt cold. The characters never really came alive for me, caught as they were in their own stilted, 2400-year-old language and intricate dance pieces that failed to reveal any real information. At times it seemed as if the director was more concerned with the conflicting colors and shapes, the dichotomy between the dances and the video projections, than in telling a story.

I don't think this Antigone came to any real epiphany about her story or her place in history, and certainly the other characters were there merely to support her own internal explorations. Perhaps Antigone just wasn't meant to be an interpretive dance piece.

Fire Throws
Written and directed by Rachel Dickstein
With Erica Berg, Laura Butler, Kiebpoli Calnek, John Campion, Kimiye Corwin, Juliana Francis-Kelly, Paula McGonagle, Leajato Amara Robinson, Jorge Rubio and Caesar Samayoa
Set Design: Susan Zeeman Rogers
Lighting Design: Tyler Micoleau
Costume Design: Oana Botez-Ban
Sound Design: Jane Shaw
Video and Projection Design: Maya Ciarrocchi Running Time: 75 minutes with no intermission
3LD Art & Technology Center, 80 Greenwich Street; 212-352-3101
Tickets $25
Wednesday through Sunday at 8pm
February 18 March 28
Reviewed by Jenny Sandman based on February 27th performance
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