archive
links
essays

Temperance

(Left to right) Jenny Hughes as The Spirit of Water and Riley Anne as Earthling
(L to R) Jenny Hughes as The Spirit of Water and Riley Anne as Earthling
Photo: coloradodrama.com
 
Personify the elements of alchemy, fold in personal experience, add heaps of stellar choreography, mix with mythological costumes and evocative set pieces, steep in ultra cool jazz licks, and you have the first in a new series of collaborative performances ("Earthling") by the Mercury Cafe's playwright-director-choreographer-designer-performer Riley Anne and her talented cohorts.

(Left to right) Riley Anne as Earthling and Jenny Hughes as The Spirit of Water
(L to R) Riley Anne as Earthling and
Jenny Hughes as The Spirit of Water
Photo: coloradodrama.com
 
Riley Anne, as Earthling, seeks out The Spirit of Water, Jenny Hughes, to heal herself, personally and collectively, but discovers more than she bargained for, as the goddess is none too pleased with the way she has been misused, disrespected, and defiled.

As with Riley Anne's previous work, The Ballet of Masculine & Feminine Divinities, ritual is woven throughout, providing ready access to a variety of metaphysical interpretations. Earthling appears with horns, wings of roses and thorns, and a sacred heart emerging from her chest, which deftly captures humankind's dialectic: the marriage of our physical lineage and our spiritual heritage.

Jenny Hughes as The Spirit of Water
Jenny Hughes as The Spirit of Water
Photo: Louis Krupp
 
The dance between Earthling and The Spirit of Water is infused with archetypal moments reflecting the power arising from the ritual and from the goddess' transformational energy, as she employs water on stage for baptismal, climatic, holistic, and catalystic effect.

Riley Anne's sparse use of dialogue informs the action, without distracting from the ballet.

Riley Anne as Earthling
Riley Anne as Earthling
Photo: Louis Krupp
 
Riley Anne and Hughes' chemistry is visceral, alternately discordant and harmonious, as the conflict is rectified, as told through fluid, furtive, and reverent choreographic language, danced to a score by Ron Hurley (congas), Enoch Jackson (bass), John Rasmussen (flute), and Gabriel Gravangno (piano).

While Temperance has closed, November will bring the Merc's presentation of the second in the series, Del Sol, exploring the element of fire, with earth, air, and spirit (connecting all elements) to follow. Performances are in the venue's upstairs ballroom. Partial proceeds from the productions go to Navajo Water Project and Black Girls Code.

Photo: coloradodrama.com
 
Mercury Cafe is located at 2199 California Street in Denver. Dinner and drinks are available before the show. The Merc is a leader in sustainable and renewable operations. Visit MercuryCafe.com and Mercury Cafe Denver on Facebook; also @MercuryCafeCo.

Bob Bows



  Current Reviews | Home | Webmaster



If you enjoy our work, please Like our website.