Thursday, September 18, 2003

My favorite! The Badger King...it was Monday night at Machineworks 

I am quite used to The Badger King's lively, dance/audience participatory-oriented performances...and the opera "The Showering Dragons" is a bit different, a bit more subdued in its melodrama and moroseness, but has a hopefulness too, and is completely EPIC. Not so much of an outward dance, but perhaps a more internal heart dance. I held my breath for the entirety of "The Showering Dragons" because it is so emotional in the best kind of way. (I love Marianna Ritchey's voice so much.) Kristan Kennedy (PICA) once said about Ritchey, "I could listen to her sing all day," and I agree wholeheartedly!! Ritchey's voice is strong and clear and sometimes it cracks in the most heart-wrenching way...to believe it is to hear it. Jona Bechtolt was like a small brick holding down the back stage, making the dream a reality with his programming... and when he picked up the guitar to rock out during one of the songs, I watched the screen, I watched him, I went back and forth and couldn't stop.

The film projected in the background of Ritchey and Bechtolt gives the songs a narrative line as well as visual implication. My favorite part of the film was the animation, which is playful and flighty, lightening the mood of the opera. An eel splashes in and out of a hand...

A lasting image from "The Showering Dragons" is the hand, held up in the air, its body looking up at it; the hand examined, and how the human hand manipulates nature, and other beings/animals.

The Badger King forever!!!

--Muffie White

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