Mandy Greenlee and Michael Kebles “The Ballad of Blade & Buttercup”
Alex White • August 19, 2017 • 2017 Boulder International Fringe Festival •
I left this performance feeling empowered. I felt that I had a spiritual experience. I was skeptical as I came in, and as the show started, Mandy encouraged the audience to sit closer together. The more I opened up, though, the more I was able to receive this show.
How powerful is love? How much control do we really have? Should I have a child? These are the questions that tore through my mind during Mandy and Michael’s performance. The general arch of the story is that it’s a new year. Mandy is in a transitional period in her life (aren’t we all, always?). She seeks guidance from the cosmos, and it comes in the form of love. Enter Michael. Michael and Mandy’s chemistry is steaming hot. Neither of them have felt this in love before, and there is one question burning a hole through their minds: Should we have a baby? Boom! Mandy gets pregnant. Pressure from family, friends, society is pushing in on all sides. Mandy and Michael leave on a trip to get geographical distance from the pressure. Mandy realizes that the answer is no. No baby. For now. The lesson that they learned through this experience was to keep the kernel of love alive.
What I enjoy is that it’s ambiguous enough that you don’t have to be as literal as me. In fact, to go into this performance expecting that would lessen the experience. It was nice to let go, and feel into the movement they expressed, and the energy that cut through the room.
Here is where I had my spiritual experience. As Mandy and Michael were sitting together at the ending of their tale they told us, I saw light emanating from the two of them. A glow that encircled their bodies. I haven’t been off my meds, I had a good nights sleep, and I’m a skeptic. Where does this leave me? It was really a beautiful thing to witness. They had excellent storytelling ability through dance, speech, light. The pacing was great, with highs and lows of energy. It was a very intimate connection. They were sharing a very vulnerable aspect of their lives, and due to the size of the crowd it felt like it was shared amongst friends. I felt like I was truly experiencing the love that they share.
You can enjoy “The Ballad of Blade & Buttercup” at the Community Dance Collective (CDC)