Feb 01-Feb 02, 2002
'Tangled Journey' is worth the trip
- By Cheryl Thornburg, Sun News [February 1, 2002 C-1]
Las Cruces has just entered a new dimension in live theatre. "Tangled Journey," which opens today at the Black Box Theatre, is unlike anything local theatregoers have experiences. It is an intimate look at one woman's life that incorporates dance and drama in one complex package.
Debra Knapp leads the audience on an emotional journey in her search for peace and happiness. This is not a life viewed from afar, however. It is eavesdropping on the most personal moments of her life as she struggles with relationships, alcohol, and her own self doubt.
As the show opens, Knapp enters her apartment strewn with clothing, books and miscellant. From the onset, Knapp proves that she is an accomplished actress as well as dancer. As she wanders the apartment, we watch as she exhibits a lot of behavior that is not what most people would do in public - like scratching and picking her teeth. Despite the incredible intimacy of the Black Box setting, Knapp never breaks character.
As she turns on her boom box, the music takes over and she virtually explodes into the first dance sequence. Her moves are integrated into the storyline and Knapp, who also choreographed "Tangled Journey," successfully weaves dance and drama into a compelling theatre experience.
Knapp has incorporated diverse music including Santana, Glenn Miller, Bonnie Raitt, and Tracy Chapman, which reflexts the tone of various segments. Audiences will recognize "The Calling," by Santana, "Moonlight Serenade" by Glenn Miller and "She's Got a Ticket," by Tracy Chapman.
It is not only music that will strike familiar chords with the audience, for the emotional ups and downs of the character are universal. Knapp touches on many emotions - joy, despair, anger - and delivers them body and soul in this performance. Her performance produced both laughter and sorrow at a recent dress rehearsal.
This is the first production of "Tangled Journey" in the United States. It premiered in Dresden, Germany, in 1994. Knapp also choreographed No Strings Theatre Company's recent production of "Saturday Soliloquies."
Knapp has an impressive background. She is currently assistant professor of dance and director of the dance program at New Mexico State University. She has been on the faculty at Butler University, Indiana University, and University of New Mexico. She was the artistic director and choreographer from 1977-1984 for the Indiana based modern dance company, Windfall Dancers.
She then joined the Bill Evans Dance Company based in Albuqueque, was guest performer with the Nora Reynolds Dance Company, and presented her choreography in the Danzantes Dance Company. From 1991-1994 she lived in Germany, where she was the modern dance trainer, rehearsal director, choreographer, and performer for the Semperoper Ballett in Dresden and on the dance faculty teaching and choreographing for the Palucca School Academy of Dance.
She has been an Artist-in-Education since 1977 using movement activities to enhance the curriculum for the kinesthetic learner. She is a dance/movement specialist for Young Audiences of Indiana and the Arkansas Arts-in-Education program. She was dance chairperson for the development of dance proficiency for the Indiana Department of Education.
This No Strings Theatre show is produced by Ceil Herman with lighting design by Peter Herman.
"Tangled Journey" performances are today and Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Black Box Theatre, 430 N Downtown Mall, Las Cruces. Ticket prices are $7 regular, $6 students and seniors over 65. This dance theatre production is over one hour long.
The seating capacity is under 100, and with a limited engagement show like this one, reservations are suggested. For reservations call (505)-523-1223.
No seating plan has been posted.