At SCUBA, the backward-looking ‘Avatard’

By Ellen Dunkel for the Inquirer

Avatar has been a smash, breaking new technological ground (as well as box office records).

Avatard, on the other hand, is more retro, revisiting a time of clunky video games. A modern dance created last year by Philadelphia-based dancer-choreographer Megan Mazarick and performed Friday night at Temple’s Conwell Dance Theater by Mazarick and Alex Holmes, it was part of SCUBA ’10 National Touring Network for Dance, presented by Philadelphia Dance Projects.

Dancing behind a large fabric screen, representing a computer screen, Mazarick and Holmes wore tiny, black Lara Croft-like costumes and walked into walls, simulated shooting, and lifted and balanced on each other. Their characters crash-landed, died, got more lives, and got chased by an evil crab king. Meanwhile, a pair of male narrators pitched in geeky comments on the characters and the game: “It’s like us in woman form! . . . But hotter!”