“Like, Totally” is going to be tripendicular, for sure.
How could it be anything less, with music by WHAM, The B-52s and The Talking Heads?
Those are just a few of the groups whose 1980s hits will be featured in Of Moving Colors’ concert, “Like, Totally,” on Tuesday, Oct. 14, in the Manship Theatre.
The production is the 2014-15 season’s first for the professional contemporary dance company, which has pared down its dance roster to eight.
“We’re the smallest we’ve ever been this year,” artistic director Garland Goodwin Wilson says. “We’re preparing to do more things in the future.”
The company is also working with Cortland Dance in the meantime to provide training for its pre-professional dancers.
But for now, Of Moving Colors looks back to a decade whose music was totally trippin’.
“We enjoyed challenging people to use the title of our show in their daily speech,” Wilson says. “The entire show is about juxtaposition and similarity.”
These concepts can be found in the way the songs are choreographed. Audience members may be listening to, say, the B-52s, while dancers perform to Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me With Science.” Yet, Dolby’s music isn’t on the program.
“It’ll be choreography inspired by one song set to another,” Wilson says. “It’ll be old mixed with new, and it’ll be a look at how the ’80s influence is still in our culture and affects what we do.”
So, look for some teased hair and maybe a few shoulder pads.
“And there will definitely be some shades of aqua, yellow and purple,” Wilson says, laughing. “But no leg warmers.”
The show also is the first “R” in a season called “Triple R.”
“We’re starting out with ‘Retro,’ then we move to ‘Rat Pack’ with our ‘Kick It Out Show’ in January, and we’ll end the season with a program called, ‘Romeo and Juliet,’” Wilson says. “The ’80s were my formative years, which has so much to do with how we’ve developed this show with a youthful perspective. For me, it’s about being a young girl when MTV was the creative outlet before the Internet.”
Music videos were just as important — sometimes more — as the music, many featuring not only choreography and film techniques but also the latest fashion.
“There were so many songs that we wanted to include in the show,” Wilson says. “We came up with a list of 123 songs, and we had to narrow it down to 10. It was so hard to do, because there were so many songs that we love, but they had to work with our dances. So many of them just had a single, repetitive drum beat and didn’t work with our choreography.”
Recordings will feature such musical acts as Tears for Fears, WHAM, Soft Cell, Suzanne Vega, The B-52s, Yaz, Thompson Twins, When in Rome, The Talking Heads and The Smiths, all choreographed by Wilson, Christine Chrest and Courtney Landry.
“It broke my heart when I couldn’t fit Modern English into the mix,” Wilson says. “‘I Melt With You’ was my favorite song in the ’80s.”
But just because some songs didn’t make it into the lineup doesn’t mean they’re, like totally, excluded from the show.
“We’ll be playing ’80s songs in the theater before the curtain opens,” Wilson says. “I made sure that ‘I Melt With You’ would be one of them, and hopefully, we’ll be playing a lot of audience favorites.”
- CAST: Will Bove, Courtney Landry, Craig Messina, Rebekah Prudhomme. Muriel Santana, Rebecca Sawyer, Carrie Tatum and Jeremy Williams