In a word, Project Flux is dynamic. Though it has only been around for a few years, the Boise dance company has subverted almost every expectation audiences may have through frequent collaborations with other dance companies, use of unconventional accompaniment and a fearlessness when it comes to tackling tough themes.
The Jan. 15 production, Project Flux + Ming 2016, honored those traditions in punk rock fashion in its tribute to The Museum of Broken Relationships—an upcoming exhibition at Ming Studios—through a selection of stressed, breaking and broken relationships converted into half-choreographed, half-improvised contemporary modern dance works. The Museum of Broken Relationships is both an actual museum in Croatia and a traveling exhibition about failed relationships, comprised of artifacts contributed by everyday people. According to Project Flux founder Lydia Sakolsky-Basquill, the intersection between Project Flux and the museum was a good fit from the beginning.
PF + Ming isn't the first time the studio and dance company have collaborated, nor is it the first time PF has focused on themes of alienation, toxic love and loneliness. A homoerotic duet by Jem Wierenga and Evan Stevens was a particular success: It bottled the intensity of a lovers' quarrel, telling the story of a fraught romance with kinetic daring and discipline. Other sections of the performance touched on similar ideas about love, physicality and separation, and aspired to the same acuity of feeling and Sakolsky-Basquill said the sections of the performance were inspired by dancers' own broken relationships, which made the pieces both authentic and perilous.
At its best, Project Flux channels raw emotions. It's not subtle work exploring touchy topics and hard truths. Not every experiment is a success, though Wierenga and Stevens' duet worked, capturing tensions and passions with poetry in motion. For a weekend, Project Flux was for lovers.