Cobalt & Wool: STrAY
Gabrielle DeCristofaro • August 21, 2016 • Boulder Fringe Festival •
Cobalt & Wool’s STrAY, is performed at the Boulder International Peace Garden, straddling the Boulder Creek. This is important because it is a piece that works with the natural space it is viewed in, as the performers’ actions occur not only on one side of the Creek, where the audience is, but also on the opposite side, on a stage. The audience is first invited to
get out of their seats to look across a field, and witness the first bit of action in the performance: an Animal Woman running towards us, and dancing, with jagged movements and a possessed look, but without music (although, I think John Cage would disagree, as the actors’ movements could be paired with the sound of cars and buses, the quacking and flight of ducks, and even the quiet sound of a guitar from a musician casually passing by). STraY incorporates movement, dance, monologue, poetry and song. It speaks to the “life-time (sic) dichotomy of what it means to participate in society” while being feral and feeling wild.
Like many of the other performances I’ve seen at the Fringe Festival, it calls to our need to go back to nature, and to our roots. To reach to both our masculine and feminine sides. The title of the piece “STrAY” speaks to these dichotomies (playing on stay and stray), of feeling the need to be wild, but also to be aware of where we come from, whether familial or even historical. The costumes direct our attention to such wildness and naturalness with neutral and nude colors,
and it was interesting to see the actors play with the elements. It delves into connectedness and discovering the different parts of ourselves, and the connectedness is visualized through the Animal Woman moving back and forth over the Creek, joining the ensemble, the Ancestors, on one side with the (her? our?) Guide on the other. It is a moving, well-thought out and well-choreographed performance, inviting us to explore our more primitive side. The authenticity, paired with its extremely unique visualizations, makes this an exciting and intriguing performance not to be missed.
You can experience Cobalt & Wool’s STrAY at the Boulder International Peace Gardens in front of the Boulder Public Library