Everything in this world is alive. Nature lays a path from birth to death, one that's impossible to predict. And now the final part of Patrick Mueller's series, Salon Romantik: CREATION (re-creation), will bring his project full circle from its previous four performances, "exploring the romantic philosophy and ramifications into the modern world," Mueller promises.
What started as a traditional narrative dance theater in the first installment transformed into an interactive party in the second, inviting audiences to become part of the show. The next piece looked at life in a post-apocalyptic state and the unbalanced power of nature through a bus tour that stopped at various locations for performances. Part four made peace with nature by hosting a salon with twelve artists. And now it's time to say goodbye to the project. "We're looking at this piece as something boiled down," says Mueller. "Something final, the smallest, distilled essence we've been working on for the last five years."
Romanticism may seem irrational in a world where modern science has an answer for everything. But it's where Mueller found inspiration for this final chapter in his series. He recognized that the popularity of technology has changed the way our society interacts with the tangible world. "It's left people with an intense yearning for the supernatural, inexplicable, a passion-driven disregarding rational logic," says Mueller. "We work as a performance company doing research. This is the culmination of that, romanticism being the place where the understanding of fairy tale is emerging from."
Mueller remembers falling in love with The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings as a child, but he's a rational, left-brained individual as well -- and for him, the final installment represents a marriage between what is real and unreal. Through a very minimalist performance, he hopes to unite not only a balance of nature and technology, but also the ethos of the artist and his audience.
"We're supposed to be doing it for passion and we're supposed to do it for the act of self-expression, and I'm committed to that on a certain level," says Mueller. "And that's where the final project is lined. Looking at what is this quest for originality, what is the relationship between the artists and his or her work and their audience?"
The performance will be in the East Theater of the Dairy Center for the Arts, where the audience surrounds the stage on three sides and comes as close to the stage as five feet. With only three performers and a white floor for a set, the three-act dance production will be very intimate and give the audience a chance to accept a personal message, which has been meticulously crafted and calculated by Mueller through this Salon Romantik series.
The performance will begin "from a really slow neutral place so then when we start building momentum you can really feel it," Mueller explains. "You see the changes in the character, the presence and the energetic trajectory, of what's going to come: a full-on dance performance, through the middle of it sort of tapering back down to the minimal installation feeling."
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Salon Romantik: CREATION (re-creation) will premiere at 7:30 p.m. Friday, January 23 at the Dairy Center for the Arts; there will also be two shows Saturday. To purchase tickets, $16 to $24, and for more information, click here.