BWW Review: MAYBE at The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, January 6, 2019

BWW Review: MAYBE at The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, January 6, 2019

BWW Review: MAYBE by Shade Théret at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, January 6, 2019

How does one view Los Angles; it can vary considerably. An outsider looking at a depiction of LA through the prism of CRASH, the academy award winning movie wouldn't have the same view as a resident of LA.

How artists' feel about the city is such an exciting topic that part of LA's legendary fame relies on its' output and productivity, as manifested through movies, dramas, music, writings, and dance.

Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, located in West LA, has a look we might associate with a small artistic theatre of bygone years: the facade painted navy blue, a convenient location, and the small indoor theatre designed for experimental drama and dance.

Shade Théret, a Berlin-based choreographer and dancer who grew up in Los Angles, left, and later returned, presented a conceptual work, Maybe, along with her partner, artist Lukas Panek, as the first work of Odyssey Theatre Ensemble's six-week dance festival.

BWW Review: MAYBE at The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, January 6, 2019Inside a small artistic performance space, there was no clear border to help distinguish between audience and performer. The staff told everyone who entered the theatre: you can walk around.

Hearing this immediately triggered my curiosity. Where should I focus my mind?

On the wall, four small abstract paintings were displayed, and some people were staring at them. In the center, a big piece of cloth with a conceptual drawing on it grabbed the eye and became the center of attention; next to it, there was a bench, where papers with texts were scattered everywhere. A female dressed in regular clothes, Shade Théret I presume, was, how can I put it, sort of dancing, stopping to chat with some people. Are they friends? Soon she resumed her dancing, a modern type of body motion that I can only describe as was self-expression through moves.

Sometimes people would stand up, leave their seat, walk across space and go to check out the art on the wall, or what was printed on the papers. I was one of them.

The anxiety of not knowing what's going on, and knowing I am going to write a review on this show, urged me to do something. I wanted to experience what the dance troupe was offering.

BWW Review: MAYBE at The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, January 6, 2019A glimpse into the uncertainty of social psychology-resembling the risk and difficulty of living in LA, as seen through the dancers' eyes.

As two of the lines, written by the artist Lukas Panek on the scattered papers read:

"I am walking or running. I am trying to walk, but I am becoming running."

"In the summer I went one side to another state, between different imagery collected. I looked around, sat down again and walked further. I thought: this can be a solution!"

The audience was stunned.

So was I.

Photo courtesy by Ron Sossi

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