On Thursday evening May 26 at the Black Box Theater in Silver Spring, Maryland, audience members sat riveted watching a performer make coffee. The coffee-making process, repeated several times throughout Orange Grove Dance Theater’s More Than 90 Miles from Home, is a haunting interlude between frenetic and emotional bursts of movement, sound, and light that create tension and drama throughout the piece.
Before More Than 90 Miles from Home begins, the set by Projection, Sound, and Scenic Designer Matt Reeves piques the audience’s interest as a seemingly standard desk sits atop thick mounds of sand, evoking an unexpected contrast between the mundane and the exotic. Adding to the mood is the soothing sound of waves playing on the speakers. The Black Box Theatre is a fitting and intimate space for this introspective performance.
The performer and poet Colette Krogol is fascinating to watch in all her movements: the slow yet elaborately deliberate ones (like the coffee making), the moments where she purposefully seems possessed, and the fluid, dramatic choreography when she’s taking up more of the stage.
The lighting, by Lighting Designer Peter Leibold VI and Associate Lighting Designer Faryn Kelly, is brilliant and an integral part of More Than 90 Miles from Home. The lights (some strobe) pulsate and signify shifts in mood and intensity throughout. The lighting also creates intentional shadow versions of Krogol as she dances, making it at times feel like there are two or even three dancers on the stage despite the fact that this is a one-woman show.
The coffee-making ritual seems to mark the passage of time within the performance. At first, it is seemingly a woman just barely going through the motions, communicating pain and sadness. However, the ritual builds and combines with the other movement motifs, coming together in a dazzling and intense climax. Krogol seems at her best here, when she is using the entire stage, showcasing her beautiful extensions and the graceful yet powerful shapes she creates.
More Than 90 Miles from Home feels like Krogol is processing generational trauma through movement, and because she combines her dancing with sound, voice, poetry, images, and lighting, the audience comes along with her. The result is a poignant, visceral experience that stays with you long after the 50-minute performance ceases.
Running Time: 50 minutes, with no intermission.
Orange Grove Dance’s More Than 90 Miles from Home plays through May 28, 2022, presented by Flying V performing at The Silver Spring Black Box Theatre – 8641 Colesville Road, in Silver Spring, MD. Tickets ($25) can be purchased at the door or online.
COVID Safety: The Silver Spring Black Box requires that all audience members be fully vaccinated (including boosters when possible) and that masks be worn unless audience members are actively eating/drinking.
More Than 90 Miles from Home
Direction and Choreography by Colette Krogol and Matt Reeves
Original Music by Dylan Glatthorn
Production and Stage Management by Kelly Colburn.