Just back from a tour to Karlsruhe, a cushy city in the south of Germany where we danced at the ZKM, a museum for art and new media. Inside the atrium is a huge wall lit in constantly changing designs and colors, and in the theater there's a better sound system than any movie theater I've ever been in. But more on that later.
I rolled in with these two on Friday afternoon, only 1.5 hours late after a slight detour in Stuttgart. I'd been , ahem, given the task of holding the tickets for the three of us, which anyone who knows me knows is a total mistake. Famous for getting on trains going in the wrong direction, showing up at the airport for a flight that's actually a week later, and many other errors of time and place, my very abstract sense what it means to get from point A to point B is how we missed our transfer in Mannheim and ended up on the local train back from Stuttgart to Karlsruhe. "You're fired as tour manager," Brea said. We arrived and headed to the theater, where that night Eva and Ryan tore up the stage with their duo Roadkill. The music sounded so overwhelmingly good that there were times I forgot to watch the dance...which is saying a lot, given how fierce the two of them are. But like I said, more on the sound system later.
We had visitors!! Evan was in town from Switzerland, Bernd up from Freiburg, and the mama of the boss in from Berlin for a surprise visit. Combined with James and Marijke in from NYC, it was like a family reunion.
Here's the theater entrance.....
and here's the inside of the theater. Imagine a theater with padded walls. Imagine a giant recording studio. Imagine 1 foot thick metal doors, blocking out external sound. Inside - quadrophonic surround sound!! This theater was built for sound and video. Dancing in it, we heard things in the music we'd never heard before. And just listening to the Ben Frost music while watching Roadkill was a physical experience - the bass palpable; the sound moving in and through us in the audience. Rich.
And we danced. The performing was the most difficult but also the most fulfilling part, as with every tour. It's the payoff for all the extra rehearsals and early morning trains, the part that leaves me with the strongest impressions and biggest surprises. Like the moment when I was standing in the wings getting ready to walk on, thinking not about focusing my energy or about getting into character but instead having the thought pop into my head: "I'm a professional entertainer." How strange, I thought. How beautiful. How many times I have walked onto stages. That's what we are, and that's what we did, and the good people of Karlsruhe seemed to like it.