Facing Fears and Dancing in the Dark: About Shadows

Stars Well Dance Company (Latvia) Wows the ASSITEJ Artistic Gathering 2019 by Showing the Magic Hiding in the Shadows.

Walking into the space for About Shadows, I bumped into musician Stefano Barone who informed me where the audience would be invited to sit. I looked down to see a row of cushions on the floor and quickly grabbed my spot before the crowd came in. Soon enough, the room was packed. The audience was sitting right up to the edge of the stage, just behind the row of cables and lights that shone over onto the performers. There was anticipation in the room. The moment before a performance happens. What happens next?

What happened next was like nothing I have ever experienced in Dance. The natural energy from the ensemble, paired with the transformations happening on and off the projections, widened the limits of what I conceive Theatre for Young Audiences to be. The world created through this performance constructed stories poetically, ironically, and of course, theatrically. 

About Shadows proved to me that the only thing limiting ourselves is our own imagination. Lilija Lipora has choreographed a piece that defies light, dark, and what Theatre for Young Audiences can be. Through hypnotic movements, theatrical illusions, and music, I saw stories unfold in a way I would have never expected. There is something surprisingly magical About the Shadows and I am so grateful that I was lucky enough to see it. 

Hana Holloway is an experienced young American educator and theatre artist. Her passion for writing, puppetry, and devising theatre has led her to diverse opportunities in the Performing Arts. She was invited to be a Porter Fellow for the 2019 Theatre for Young Audiences USA conference and was accepted into the apprentice company for the 2017 Williamstown Theatre Festival. She is now a Programme Director for ​‘Lights, Camera, Learn!​‘, a nonprofit that educates and empowers children through the art of filmmaking which has recently brought her to Tunisia, Jordan, Palestine, and Dubai. Hana sees theatre as a transformative art form that has the power to impact change in the world.