Romance, Revenge, Redemption

(Left to right) Michael Hinton, Jocelyn Green, and Damien Patterson
(L to R) Michael Hinton, Jocelyn Green, and Damien Patterson
in Last Night on St. Michael's Mount
Amanda Tipton Photography
Though love needs no excuse at any time or place, our annual February celebration is a wonderful opportunity to look at how our feelings, behaviors, and experiences affect the way we love ourselves and others, as we see in this compelling set of world premieres by Wonderbound's Artistic Director Garrett Ammon and Associate Choreographer Sarah Tallman.

Last Night on St. Michael's Mount

Clearly, love means different things to each of us, sometimes expressing itself in ways that are unloving and even violent, depending on the degree of dysfunction in our formative years. In this dance and narrative, choreographer Sarah Tallman builds on a series of songs—after an introductory number set to Mozart's Fantasia in D Minor—by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush that, in part reference poet Anne Sexton's intense body of work (Gabriel's "Mercy Street"), and in part the singers' own struggles and celebrations—the dark side of love as well as its shining moments, its storms and sunny days—as all of us surely have weathered.

Morgan Sicklick
Morgan Sicklick
Amanda Tipton Photography
In a break from tradition, one of Tallman's dancers, Griffin (Damien Patterson) provides intermittent narration for the story—as great uncle to Liam (Michael Hinton)—while interacting with a spirit, Catherine (Jocelyn Green), who intercedes in Liam's relationship with his college sweetheart and wife, Ellen (Morgan Sicklick).

Tallman's narrative to this tale is rife with layered psychological and emotional symbolism entwined in magic, reflecting the rugged arc of Liam and Ellen's relationship and the atmospheric influences of Griffin and Catherine, material and ethereal, on its twists and turns—a complexity that comes alive in Tallman's robust and cohesive choreography and in the dancers themselves.

The final image makes this Liam's open-ended and transformative story

* * *

(Left to right) Karina Cardella, Morgan Sicklick, and Krista Zozulia
(L to R) Karina Cardella, Morgan Sicklick, and Krista Zozulia
in The Crossroads Motel
Amanda Tipton Photography
The Crossroads Motel

Given the double-casting of Patterson, Hinton, and Sicklick in the two pieces, one could interpolate Ammon's tale as the inverse flip-side of Tallman's story, with Sicklick, then Ellen, now A Woman, a former prom queen, leaving her partner, willingly in this case, to seek a new life fraught with a unique set of perils and pleasures, including Her Partner (Hinton), who was her one-time prom king, plus the handsome, ripped Motel Clerk (Justin Rustle), a former high school quarterback, as well as His Ex-sweetheart (Krista Zozulia), a former high school cheerleader, Her Partner (Karina Cardella), a grifter, and Her Ex (Patterson), an FBI agent who is, of course, armed.

Michael Hinton
Michael Hinton
Amanda Tipton Photography
Ammons sets this wild ride to music from an A-list of pop-chart toppers from the era, including The Temptations, The Doors, The Carpenters, the Steve Miller Band, the Eagles, Foreigner, and Anne Murray. No matter your take on love, Ammons' epic tale and full-bodied choreography will touch your past or present, head and heart, and leave you revved-up and breathless.

Wonderbound's world premiere of Romance, Revenge, Redemption, runs through February 20th. All performances are sold out, due to limited seating protocols. Tickets for Wonderbound's next production, Oh Me, Oh My! (April 20th through May 8th, 2022), go on sale Tuesday, January 26th, and can be ordered here. For future announcements, sign up for the company's newsletter.

Bob Bows

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