At Last, the Light Brigade!

Light Brigade

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the Light Brigade’s celebration of the equinox/Over Beyond Across Through art intervention since JANUARY. My anticipation was heightened by the occasional Facebook update or more recently, glimpses of practice sessions against the museum façade on my way home.

It was worth the wait.

If you haven’t heard about the Light Brigade yet, you should check out Transformative Experience by Matt Caprioli in the Anchorage Press for a great background/overview. And then if you’re up for it, you can read my blog from almost a year ago, Aerial Investigation: Becky Kendall and the Light Brigade for some major fan-girling and a bit about the crowd sourcing funding process they used to pay for aerial dance lessons.

The Over Beyond Across Through performance was inspired by Alan Lightman’s novel, Einstein’s Dreams. Here’s a choice excerpt for you:

They feel the rhythms of their moods and desires, eat when they are hungry, go to their jobs whenever they wake, make love all hours of the day. They know that time moves in fits and starts.

And another:

In this world there are two times. There is mechanical time and there is body time. The first is rigid and metallic as a massive pendulum of iron that swings back and forth. The second squirms and wriggles like a bluefish in a bay. The first is unyielding, predetermined. The second makes up its mind as it goes along.

Saturday night was perfect for an outdoor public performance. Dark, with a hint of crispness in the air, but not too cold.

The museum grounds filled up fast – when we arrived, the crowd was already overflowing onto the sidewalks and waves of people were still coming (I’ve heard guesstimates ranging from 1,000 to 3,000).  Parking was non-existent for blocks. It was nearly impossible to find friends (note to self – when someone says they are by the museum sign, it’s good to remember that there are two museum signs…oops) and I wished we’d gotten there a bit sooner since we ended up behind some scaffolding which obstructed our view.

However, once the performance started, I didn’t even notice – I was too transfixed by the spectacle the Light Brigade created for Anchorage. It was sound and color and dance all blended together into something fleetingly beautiful.

The sound was especially interesting – it evoked something elemental, and reminded me of glaciers calving or Teutonic plates shifting. At one point, the wind even gusted at just the right cue.

I loved the images that were projected onto the museum and the way the dancers interacted with them, a human constant amidst dynamic change. And of course, the aerial dancing was well done and incredibly fun to see – I love that I (along with many in the crowd) helped fund that part of the performance. A good investment indeed.

Sharing the experience with so many people (including pirates, who were out in force for the Downtown Partnership’s pirate pub crawl) was really cool – I hope the success of this event leads to many more public performance art pieces, because I think Anchorage is not only ready for it, but wants it. And I hope that there are many more performances against the museum façade, because it was a pretty fantastic venue.

Bravo to the Light Brigade! I don’t think their glory will fade for a long, long time.

Author: Gretchen Fauske

I love Anchorage. I love what it is, what it's been, and what I dream it will be. I share my adventures with DJ (my husband), my fabulous family and friends, two frenchies named Grover and Teddy, and now, all of you. If you love Anchorage too, get in touch - guest posts are welcome!

2 thoughts on “At Last, the Light Brigade!”

  1. Thanks Gretchen! I’m glad you got to see OBAT. The museum lawn started filling up at 8:30. So many people. I think you’re right, Anchorage is hungry for more kinds of work in all sorts of venues and sites.

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