In this version of the classic tale, Icarus is a love story. The show, featuring aerialists Rachel Strickland and Meredith Starnes, relies strictly on physical movement to convey the narrative of two characters discovering the thrill of flight.
The opening is somber, with Strickland as the title character, wearing a pair of ragged white wings and wrapped around a thick green rope secured to the rafters at the Den of Muses. As the show progresses, the mood--driven by the shared glances and gestures between the characters and underscored by an electro-symphonic soundtrack--shifts from serious, to playful, to strong and romantic. Strickland and Starnes explore the theater’s airspace using the green rope and another cord equipped with harness clips and a counterweight, taking turns at the top and then taking flight together. They transition between acts of aerial acrobatics with modern dance choreography, making their way to the back of the theater space to work from two aerial hoops hanging from thick fabric.
The centerpiece of Icarus is, of course, the high-flying theatrics. The choreographed transitions sometimes lack the immediacy of the aerial stunts, especially when the music seems to draw out the suspense, but the rewards are always worth it, particularly when Strickland and Starnes are in the air together, pitting their strength and grace against each other. Their actions tell a story, one literal enough to carry the show, but still impressionistic enough to let viewers focus more on the movements than the plot.
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