by Gina Palumbo for The Dance Journal
On Saturday, February 6th, Almanac Dance Circus Theatre presented The Fleecing in collaboration with Die-Cast and Cirque de Nuit. The same buzz from early 2000’s adventure games on dusty basement computers coursed through my veins as we prepared to launch. The audience was encouraged to keep a favorite elixir nearby, but as it is a new year and I am trying to be a new me, I settled for safe, but equally-as-questionable, tap-water.
The hosts put us at ease in such a charming way that after the show, I had gratitude for theater kids in a world of flat expressions and monotonality. There was a moment when space needed to be reclaimed, and so The Adjudicant interrupted as fabulously as Vice President Kamala Harris would have and said, I’m speaking. Several pillars of society such as journalists and those who don’t tip were called out, but because I am a person who is honest about herself, I did not slam my laptop closed. I was swept away by storytellers who voraciously physicalized the comfortable anonymity of a dark theater.
Everything we were asked to do was to please an omniscient being, The Bumblefish, who I imagined as Big Brother or the eyes that watched over East Egg and West Egg. The rules were introduced in advance, allowing us to prepare to choose which flock would win. We, as acolytes, not only had to interact with those on the screen before us, but we also had to take advantage of our own possessions and use them for the journey. I began my pilgrimage like any other new venture in life: ill-equipped and terrified of the future.
One room was for hand-balancing, and the next was called The Reel Room, where cups spun on a record over and over again like a broken record. In the third room, fortunes were told by a being whose quite literal costuming actually made sense of The Third Eye. I had no clue who to choose because they were all worthy of recognition. In the end, my loyalties lay with the man with The Third Eye. Although his scrap paper was scribbled with never-ending mathematical equations, he mentioned the character Roku from The Avatar, the master of the four elements. That is when I knew he meant business. An acolyte asked him what their cat could be thinking, and another asked why people are so dumb, and he always offered a nugget of wisdom after extensive brainwork. One instance involved Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff’s ditty about summertime. The ending was swift and cryptic, but it was as relevant and timely as ever.
I could go on, but I highly recommend that you find out for yourself what takes place at The Fleecing. It really was the zoom meeting I actually wanted to stay in. Hilarious and sedative for the anxious but adventuresome nerd, The Fleecing was one for the books and the soul.
The Fleecing (virtual)
Almanac Dance Circus Theatre and Die-Cast
February 5th, 6th, 12th, & 13th at 7pm
Tickets: $20 general; $10 Cheaper Ticket
No one turned away for lack of funds
Tickets Available at https://www.thealmanac.us/the-fleecing-2021
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