Katharine Hawthorne “Between the Wish and the Thing”
Alex White • August 19, 2017 • 2017 Boulder International Fringe Festival •
Wow! I was floored by this performance. Every aspect was a delight for the senses. The visuals, the music, the movement, were all so gracefully composed and choreographed. When you first arrive you are directed by signs painted with yellow words to a quaint backyard. I loved the magnificent vase of beaming sunflowers presented. From there you are directed to make a wish for yourself on a yellow sticky note, and wear it like a name tag. Once everyone has written their wish, Katharine comes out of the barn and walks the crowd that has gathered over to a circle of fortune cookies. We all got to choose our fortune, and amidst the sound of crinkling papers and crunches Katharine asks four volunteers to read their fortunes aloud. One by one they read their fortunes as Katharine performed an improvised dance to their words. One man even read his lucky numbers.
From here we were directed inside to a beautiful barn, and we all took our seats as a tone produced by the natural vibrations of an acoustic guitar sitting in the middle of the room resonated throughout the hall. The dancers had a yellow glow on their faces. Their costumes, black, saturated yellow, and gold, moved with the tone of the performance. Moving to pastel yellows and white when it was calming down. There were moments when the three performers were dancing when it seemed like they became one body, I lost whose limb was whose. There were moments of absolute freedom, and moments of tight, gripping reality. I got lost between time and space, body and mind. They expressed the chaotic frantic nature of the reality of our times. While also beckoning peace and tranquility. I felt comfortable in their hands, and I have a secret. That was my wish. To be comfortable.
At one point the performers broke out in Chinese, I was later informed that Elizabeth and Katharine both speak it. I was bewildered when it was happening. Katharine muttered “climate change” at the end of this spell, and Elizabeth broke out laughing. Yes, I think that’s appropriate. The most striking moment for me was when Elizabeth bolted like lightning directly towards me, stopping just shy of touching me. She had her palms out, and her white and yellow makeup-covered eyes met mine, and we danced. I didn’t even have to get out of my chair. It was surreal. Then the three performers broke out into screaming. A cry for anything. NASA, cooperation, world peace. Transition. Now the time has gone. To the west, with the sun. We gathered around the piano as Katharine, John, and Elizabeth sang. John played guitar, and Katharine played piano. We ended back outside in the setting sunlight. With a serenade by an Oboe.
As we were leaving, we were told to make a wish for someone else this time. I made a wish that these performers would get a great audience every night. I could have written so much more, but I do not want to spoil all of the fantastic elements of this show. If you are looking for a show to see at Fringe this year, DO NOT miss this show!
You can check out “Between the Wish and the Thing” at Kelly’s Barn