By Jane Gotch and Reid Bangert
Produced and Directed by: Jane Gotch and Mark Southerland
WE!, performed March 24th-April 3rd, 2011 was a collaborative, installation dance performance staged in an abandoned downtown office space formerly occupied by AT&T. WE! took the “idea of audience” out of their seats and into the lights — stripping away the safety net of the proscenium theater and sandwiching both dancer, art, and viewer into close proximity.
The performance moved the audience, in small groups, through a multi-room visual environment created by an award-winning team of Kansas City’s leading dance, visual, lighting and sound designers on the 6th floor of Town Pavilion. Audience size was limited to 40 people per night, to create an intimate scale. The performers’ breath, sweat, body heat, direct eye contact and even touch was palpable. From breeching walls and new office trails, to tiny tableaus and remote viewings, this collaborative team reorganized the materials and inhabitants of the office space. WE! successfully disrupted and remapped the relationship between audience and performer.