Colony is an intimate affair. The two-woman performance art dance piece takes place at the Tigermen Den, an open room on Royal Street where the audience lines the walls or sits on the floor. The dancers, Kelly Bond and Melissa Krodman, feel out every corner of the space, sometimes moving together tightly in the center of the room, in other moments exploring opposite corners, moving silently and deliberately to an electronic score.
The power of performance in Colony doesn’t come from showy, complicated choreography, but from a quiet precision. There are some intense physical moments that leave the performers breathing hard in rhythmic gasps, and there are softer moments where the dancers circle the room making direct eye contact with members of the audience and whispering quietly. There are occasional bursts of song that highlight the heavy silence before and after. There is some fun in the snippets of A Chorus Line-style shuffling, contrasted with experimental styles that owe more to John Cage and Merce Cunningham.
Colony isn’t for everyone, in the way that experimental dance performance art isn’t for everyone. The show doesn’t have any sort of obvious narrative, and some viewers might take for granted the subtlety of the performers’ physicality. But Colony definitely rewards those willing to give themselves over to the strangeness, the quiet, and the intimacy.
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