Many webs are woven in Labyrinth, Vox Medusa’s contemporary take on the Ariadne/Minotaur myths, some of which obscure the work’s intention. Directed by Kristin Freya, the company’s founder, the piece features a young cell-phone toting woman, “The Girl” (Alexandria West), who becomes lost in a labyrinth woven by “The Thread” (Emily Colay), who sings and walks the web into existence with her chorus of six girls and women.
Members of The Thread are all clothed in white. The nemeses they encounter, and trap, along with The Girl, are clad in black and represent a deconstructed version of the Minotaur (their hair wrapped into tight stubby-horn-like buns). These dancers writhe, slither and slink across the floor; combine themselves Pilobolus-like into an effectively arresting spider-like creature; and otherwise menace The Girl caught in the web.
Why the Girl is there in the first place is never explained. After receiving a number of mysterious texts and screechy phone calls, she simply finds herself captured. She and the white-clad chorus members grab the threads, release the black-clad dancers who scuttle away, and sing in conjuring voices (in Latin?), dismantling and re-weaving their stage-size cat’s cradle over again.
The work is infused with a push-and-pull motion conveyed not only in the capture/escape feeling of the loose narrative, but also in the film of ocean waves projected at the back of the stage and the cinematic soundscape. Also projected are screenshots of the texts sent to The Girl, a graphic of the Minotaur, and a video of Paul Wonsavage as a character trapped within the labyrinth.
Surreal and obscure, with an intensity befitting the subject matter, Labyrinth is puzzle never solved. Although The Girl, who is more passive than proactive throughout the multimedia, does find escape and repose.
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Camille LeFevre is a long-time dance writer in the Twin Cities and the editor of The Line, an online publication about the creative economy of the Twin Cities.