Time’s Bones polarizes Tech students

April 17, 2014


Staff Reporter


Many students left Howard Auditorium after watching the Margaret Jenkins production, “Time’s Bones,” on April 10 feeling downright perplexed.

Margaret Jenkins production, “Time’s Bones,” used contemporary dance to tell the story loosely based on the myth of the scattered limbs of Osiris. –Submitted Photo

Margaret Jenkins production, “Time’s Bones,” used contemporary dance to tell the story loosely based on the myth of the scattered limbs of Osiris. –Submitted Photo


Plenty of those in attendance for this fourth and final show in the Louisiana Tech Concert Association (LTCA)’s 2013-2014 schedule were fairly new to contemporary dance and did not know what to expect out of the performance.


A quick glance at the Artistic Statement in the show’s program, written by Jenkins, clarified what the audience was to expect: a dance “loosely based on the myth of the scattered limbs of Osiris,” Jenkins said in the statement.


“’Time’s Bones’ explores the underpinnings of my dances, the bones of my earlier work, toward creating a new whole, another beginning on this 40th anniversary of my company,” she wrote.


LTCA Director Paul Crook took the stage prior to the show to welcome and thank Jenkins’ crew formally, and then gave a brief synopsis of the dance production, assuring the crowd they were in for a treat before returning to his chair.


The show opened with a silent video, which was projected onto a large cloth-like screen, which hung from the rafters, hiding most of the stage. The projection displayed the different choreographic pieces that Jenkins produced over her career. Accompanying the projection was an eerie soundtrack of soft instrumentation and indecipherable whispers.


While the video continued playing, seven dancers entered from behind the crowd and moved throughout the aisles of the auditorium as Jenkins read aloud a lengthy list of credits from her previous work.


At the end of this prelude, the projection ended and the screen went away to reveal the set. Numerous square panels of clear glass hung vertically along the back of the stage, while dozens of lowered light fixtures acted as the pseudo-ceiling to the box-like set the dancers performed in. The way the set used light patterns and color motifs to create different atmospheres throughout the performance stood out as a fine example of abstract storytelling.


Newcomers to this style of dance did not have much to get excited about with “Time’s Bones.” A lot of the dance moves seemed plain. The dancers often assisted each other during every jump, no matter how small, and it was difficult for viewers to keep up with all of the simultaneous, moving action on stage.


That is not to say the performers did not have a few impressive feats up their sleeves. For instance, dancer Kelly Del Rosario’s heart-stopping leaps off the ground and displays of raw physical strength were a personal highlight of “Time’s Bones.”


For students who came to watch these San Francisco-based performers, thoughts after the show ranged from “confusing” to “awesome,” with a lot of varying opinions in between. Those who expected a linear, spoon-fed narrative were left puzzled on their verdict of “Time’s Bones,” while those who kept an open mind and introspective disposition seemed to experience much more from it.


Email comments to bsl008@latech.edu.


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