There is nothing that could truly prepare anyone for Rawls’ re-imagining of his time in the Balkans. The Planet-Eaters, (November 13-16) at The Chocolate Factory, however, is filled with memory, folklore, questions and a taste of his endearing connection. There is a great deal to grasp in a short time, but Walls’ production leaves room for us to digest it all. For example, his continual stepping/walking/running sequences and intricate footwork, which, based on the little Balkan dance history I’ve come to understand, compliments the traditional village dances and the complex ones too. His use of different masks, costumes, music and entangled stories also help to bring his Balkan eyes to the stage. In the end, Rawls and composer/musician/performer, Chris Kuklis return without elaborate costumes, instead in jeans and t-shirts, and in a “simple” repeating cross-step, Rawls swinging a tube-like prop in one hand, the lights fades.
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I am a performer, historian, consultant and dance writer. I am a faculty member at Hunter College, Sarah Lawrence College (Guest), Empire State College's online program Center for Distance Learning. I am also a former faculty member of The Ailey School and the Alvin Ailey/Fordham University dance major program, Kean University and The Joffrey Ballet School's Jazz and Contemporary Trainee Program. I write on dance for The Amsterdam News, Dance Magazine and various publications. Click below to read more about me at my home page - "About Me."