Capital Fringe is known for its no-frills, stripped down performances – turning various makeshift spaces into stages across the city. But minimal does not mean Spartan, especially in the case of Everybody Knows This Is Now Here, a contemplative multimedia dance performance that reaches across distance – and artistic mediums – to explore 21st century friendship.
Mountain Empire Performance Collective’s graceful staging allowed for intimacy that felt like one was eavesdropping in on a rehearsal. Dancers Rachel, Eliza, Annie, and Emily, friends who lived scattered across the country, had to develop their performances across Skype calls and on Megabus trips.
How their friendship and their work together thrive in this environment forms the backbone of the show. Though only Rachel and Eliza appear in the performance, the others chime in via film and sound recordings.
The trust between the women is apparent from the beginning, as they introduce each other to the audience, trying not to slip up on important details. At one point, we hear a voice overhead chime in, “I want you to dance like me.” This didn’t feel disingenuous, but rather displayed the faith the ensemble had in each other – even when some members were thousands of miles away from D.C. When one says to the other, “Do that thing you always do,” it’s easy to see how close the dancers are to each other.
Everybody Knows This I Now Here
Conceived by Eliza Larson and Rachel Rugh
at Gallery – Goethe Institut
812 7th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
Details and tickets
Overall, Everybody Knows This Is Now Here feels light and delightful. The performance is a good exercise – just as Fringe is known for adapting art to unusual places, so the Mountain Empire Performance Collective learns to adjust to living with distance. And we, as the audience, are very much along for the ride.