ArcheDream for Humankind visits Elon

Miriam Williamson

The Elon community had the opportunity to experience the closest thing to an acid trip most will ever get at 7:30 Thursday evening in McCrary Theatre. ArcheDream for Humankind presented “Deep Blue,” a unique acting and dance performance.

When the lights went down, audience members wearing light-colored clothing began to glow, because of the black lights used in the show.

As soon as the first character stepped out, the audience was mesmerized.

The costumes, designed by art director Alan Bell, were one of the most stunning aspects of the entire show. The characters wore hand painted masks and costumes that illuminated brilliantly against the dark background.

ArcheDream used the effects ultra-violet light has on certain bright colors while other darker ones remain almost invisible to its advantage.

Throughout the performance, gasps and vocal reactions filled the theater as the performers created illusions. Sometimes the characters would seem to float, or extra props would appear out of thin air.

“Deep Blue” presents a metaphorical representation of the elements of Earth, Air, Water and Fire.

Directed by Jacqui Tichenor, this theater company combines the use of different art forms from different cultures, including Commedia dell Arte, folk and fairy tales, morality plays, allegories and mythology.

No words were spoken throughout the entire performance, but through the use of dance and expressive body movements, the actors were able to portray different animals and mythological creatures. They conveyed emotions everywhere from excitement, to fear, to disappointment.

The music was captivating. It ranged from slow, soulful pieces to upbeat, oddly instrumental songs that sounded similar to music from the Blue Man Group.

The dancers matched the rhythms and tones perfectly, incorporating styles of ballet, hip-hop, tribal and break dancing.

“The dancing was incredible,” junior Danie Slavit said. “Contemporary, ballet, popping and locking. And the fact that it was in black light made it even more magical.”

The performance concluded with the introduction of the Phoenix, an important character for the Elon community.

“I would love for Elon to host them again,” Slavit said. “I want to see what new, inventive things they could come up with.”

Visit Archedream for Humankind’s Web site to learn more about the background of Archedream and the other choreographed shows it offers.

Here, art director Alan Bell discusses his inspiration:

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