We begin our day in darkness, our sleepy bodies and minds quickly coming alive with the excitement of the unknown. The day is a soundscape, the soundtrack of rehearsal neutral enough to allow for uninhibited exploration, but daring and twisting with electronic drones, providing seamless transitions from the ordinary into the world Mikey Morado and Mark Caserta begin to build with us. Their practice is filled with improvisation scores, an open forum for discovery and movement research. They create a foundation, clearer rules for this emerging world, through their intricate phrase work. A spectrum of juxtaposition cradles flowing undulations against harsh tension, our bodies learning to adapt and embrace our new movement language for the next two weeks. Feeling discomfort and ease sliding past each other in harmony charges the room. Harnessing the ability to control and let go simultaneously warps phrase work into small manifestos and new inspirations emerge. Obvious aesthetic conquerors from the moment they enter a room, Adidas-clad Mark and Mikey make the perfect team to spot these moments of magic and extract them from the extraneous. They mold seconds of intrigue into complex characteristics and relationships that emerge and grow over the course of their work. They guide each dancer with immense care coupled with cheeky whim, giving space for what is meant to happen within their world, coaxing out the impossible and making it unquestionable.
Another gift Mark and Mikey shared with Dark Circles was the attention to the music in our world. Working to a score by dancers-turned independent music duo slowdanger allowed the audio elements of the piece to grow and shift along with the movement. This nebulous approach to sound culminated in our final days in the studio when we were able to collaborate with slowdanger live in the space. This added another now essential tendril to Dregs; twisting in between phrase work and creating riffs off of movement that was yearning for a highlight. Transitions fold in on themselves and stretch out into empty space, the open studio latching onto new sounds given life through the fingers and voices of Taylor and Anna.
As part of Dark Circle’s LGBTQ centered Winter Series, Mark and Mikey’s world within Dregs invites themes of sexuality without heteronormative pressures. They’ve welcomed the audience into a space without labels, anonymity fully available for anyone to explore and play with. The movement slips through sensual, coarse, driving, performative, internal, and everything else lurking just past the edges of an unsuspecting viewer’s mind. Jarring convulsions follow slick curves, question marks follow hard evidence, and each lucky audience member leaves with an almost voyeuristic peek into this ephemeral yet timeless world; they’ll each take with them the leftover remnants of what we carry with us, the Dregs.