Inkub8‘s monthly Inkub8r Open-Studio Series continued last Saturday with a “wet” and “dry” performance of “To Do or Not To Do,” a multimedia, multidisciplinary collaboration with performer and choreographer Carlota Pradera and experimental electronic musician Nicole Martinez.
The first hour of the “dry” performance took place inside Inkub8′s white box studio space. Illuminated by pink and blue lights, the sparsely staged space featured Martinez set up on an L-shaped workstation in front of the studio’s rolling door. In front of Martinez, who wore black slacks and a white long-sleeve shirt, a constellation of women’s flats and high-heel shoes littered the floor. A small, white table with a drawer and black folding chair were the only props visible besides the shoes. The audience lined the south wall.
Pradera wore all black and executed a fantastic, non-stop collage of spontaneous, improvised movements that were erratic, electric and utterly manic. She hopped, jumped, ran, darted and shuffled around the space as if possessed. Her facial expressions at times reminded me of a deranged rabbit chomping down on a carrot.
Pradera performed barefoot, wearing a single high-heel shoe and wearing two high-heel shoes. She danced with the small white table and wrestled, danced, hugged and ran around the space with the black-folding chair. She even levitated for a moment on the chair’s seat. Pradera made me laugh, while Martinez’s guttural soundscapes grounded the performance in a serious, contemplative state.
The second (“wet”) hour of the performance was an abrupt shift. Pradera moved to the exterior space, the parking lot, where a rectangular stage was set up next to a hose. Two blue lights, strategically located at each end of the stage, cast Pradera’s shadow upon the back wall. Pradera then performed a choreography with two-shadows. She wore a blue dress. She reminded me of a marionette. I didn’t want this portion of the performance to end, but I also wanted it to evolve beyond the choreography with the shadows.
While Pradera moved, Martinez performed electronic sounds with underwater effects, which made me feel like I was watching all of this take place inside Disney’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” ride. Martinez’s soundscape elevated Pradera’s movements during this section of the performance. At several points throughout the performance, Pradera was hosed by audience members. For the finale, Pradera slowly made her way off the stage, ascended the spiral staircase located near the entrance and vanished into the second floor offices of Inkub8.
For more information and schedule of upcoming performances during Inkub8′s open-series, visit www.inkub8.org.