Bautanzt Here offers thoughtful work with their presentation of “Hollow Bones”
Updated: May 10
Photos by Kimara Dixon
Hollow Bones @ Art on the Atlanta BeltLine
Performers: Susan Keller, Frankie Mulinax (Vandellous), and Kiera O’Reilley
Direction: Nadya Zeitlin
Set Design: Dima Alekseev, Katya Kouznetsova
On a gorgeous Sunday in April, amongst the cacophony of a packed field at the Old Fourth Ward Skatepark, three performers moved with intention, patience, repetition and a general disregard for the chaos around them.
The performance began with the three movers spread across the vast space of the park, requiring the viewer to seek them out and widen their gaze. With painted faces and clad in white painter’s coveralls, two of the performers trudged through the space encapsulated by white, hollow spherical structures made of malleable entangled tubes. In the middle of the space a third performer seemed to be resting inside their sculpture.
The program was characterized by a beautiful combination of solo movement, use of the negative space of the tangled orbs, occasional unison phrase work, movement in canon, and overt displays of emotion. The performance exhibited a variety of movement styles, from legato flow to staccato repetition, always meditative. Sometimes the movement felt heavy and reactive, weighted by gravity. Other times, it seemed effortless and portrayed a beautifully controlled flow with no end or beginning. The performers executed partner and solo work with ease, unphased by the uneven terrain.
The performance resolved powerfully with one dancer shedding their suit, leaving it strategically displayed inside their sculpture then striding away from the scene in pedestrian clothing. The second performer remained resting inside their tangled orb while the third lay prone on the ground, almost completely outside of their sphere and barely connected to the sculpture that had once occupied their attention.
There was an impressive exhibition of control and focus by the performers; they seemed unperturbed by the people going about their springtime activities around—and sometimes through—them. The football games, electric scooters, and kids at play could be distracting to the audience. But this is the risk of performing at a public space on such a beautiful day, and it was probably taken into account during the creative process. The deliberate, meditative performance was a beautiful offering of movement amongst the lovely chaos of a sunny spring day in an Atlanta public park.