On Thursday September 18, award-winning choreographer and dancer Sarah Elgart performed “Follow” at the Santa Barbara Courthouse with her collective dance troupe Arrogant Elbow. It was their premiere performance hosted by the OnEdge Festival.
“Follow” explores how human beings are conditioned to follow gurus, leaders, and ideologies in the face of life’s mysteries, absurdities, and tragedies.
The site-specific performance began within the interiors of Santa Barbara Courthouse, and then guided the audience on a visual and metaphysical journey through progressive stages. Elgart, who gives homage to her late mentor Pina Bausch and Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal, lead the audience through a modern dance language that showcased and celebrated her dancers, through their blended interactions with the surroundings and a subtle interplay of sounds, light, space, and a spectacle of movements.As performed in the warm evening air, “Follow” engaged all the proprioceptive senses while allowing the audience to experience the monumental Courthouse architecture with a new meta-narrative employing an mélange aesthetic of movement, media, sound,and visual imagery as its alternative structure. The performance piece was inspired and dedicated to Elgart’s father, Elliot Elgart, who deeply influenced her work.
Photos by Phantom Street Artist.