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Same Planet Different World

You/Provoke/Me (Again)

Location + schedule

U of M Rarig Center Proscenium
330 21st Ave. S, Main Floor

DateTimeMy FringeAccess
Thursday 8/58:30 p.m.  
Friday 8/68:30 p.m.  
Saturday 8/78:30 p.m.  
Sunday 8/85:30 p.m.  
Tuesday 8/105:30 p.m.  
About the show

For ages 16+
Dance, Drama, Relationships, Political

Choreographed by Joanna Rosenthal & Dan Stark
From Chicago, IL

Overall rating

Hailing from Chicago, Same Planet Different World returns to the Fringe with provocative contemporary dance works that conflate sex, religion, politics and lusty film noir.

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About the Program of You/Provoke/Me (Again)

SPDW will present the Minneapolis premiere of Rosenthal's Grey Noise. A half-evening length work, Grey Noise is for five dancers set to the music of Ben Frost,Morphine, Jori Hukkonen and Roy Webb. The work is inspired by film noir, specifically how the noir genre expressed the zeitgeist of the 1940's and 50's when Americans were becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the changing world around them. Film noir's subjects were often immigration, financial hardship and devastation of the family unit. They also emphasized themes of corruption, isolation, and having to choose between right and wrong. Rosenthal's choreography captures that psychology and how it remains relevant to contemporary culture.

In its You/Provoke/Me program, SPDW is also proud to present two works by guest artist Daniel Stark. Politics Religion Sex is a work for eight dancers set to music by Square Dance Hootenanny, Sacred Heart Singers and the Polka Dots. Stark's piece tweaks three polarizing topics, often considered inappropriate for polite conversation. Here, the absurdity, hypocrisy and contradictory nature of these pillars of our society run afoul as they are played out in familiar dance forms. This dance was selected for performance at the Kennedy Center as part of the 2010 American College Dance Festival.

Also on the program is the first section of Stark's metaphorically driven dance, Life Love Death, set to an electronic score created by Stark himself. Similar to Politics Religion Sex, it is a triptych on massive topics, but here the subject's complexities are siphoned down to a singularity. It is a solo dance about the irresistible meeting the immovable.


Joanna Rosenthal
Daniel Stark

Chris Tucker
Adam Gauzza
Charlie Cutler
Rachel Barger
Elizabeth Jenkins
Mary Davies Stark
Katie Drietz
Melissa Eichelberger
Jennifer James
Lizzy Luckhardt
Kelsey McGowan
Casey Morgan
Amanda Puckett
Craig Daniel Stastny
Understudies: Jessie Loisel, Erin O'Connell

User reviews

Challenging but mostly enjoyable
by Nick Vetter Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
I agree with other reviewers that the first two pieces were interesting but not as compelling as they could have been. It's also true that the third piece was indeed excellent. Overall, I enjoyed the show (and last years effort, as well), and I look forward to seeing this company again if they mount another performance.

One-third of the Show
by Richard Shields Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
I am not a dance expert but only a third of the show held me. "Grey Noise", the first part was long and failed to take the opportunity to generate the noir effect the title implied. I did not get many noir moments during this long piece. The music seemed off at times in terms of the action we were seeing on stage.

The second piece made me think of the nursery rhyme "Jack Be Nimble" but only with a concrete block. It was cute for a bit but did not impress.

However, "Politics", the third piece was powerful and you wanted more. The music matched the pace of the action. The performers were splendid. Perhaps if this piece had opened the show my whole view of the performance that night would have been kicked into high gear at once. As the show went, that start seemed to be a downer.

I had seen this company last year and I thought they were the best dance company ever but this year let me down.

High-quality dancing, strong show
by Mirah Ammal Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
The dancers in SPDWs production are excellent representatives of their craft--the show features beautiful, athletic, precise modern dance. It is well-choreographed and beautifully presented in the Rarig Proscenium.

The show is organized in three parts. The first, "Grey Noise" is beautiful, aggressive, at times gently funny, and for the most part engaging. I will agree, however, with John Munger--the pacing at times lagged. Also, while some of the costuming and sound clips evoked the 40s-50s film noir inspiration, the movement on stage, to me, did not. (I'm not sure, however, that that is necessarily a weakness.)

My notes on the second piece, "Life," were "the story of girl meets cinderblock." It is an starkly lit, charmingly danced, makes interesting use of concrete, and it resists the impulse to go on too long.

The final section, "Politics Religion Sex" is high energy. Of the three components, "Sex" is the one most likely to please many Fringers (and the third underwear dancing piece I've seen in this year's Fringe--is this one of the 2010 trends in Fringe performance? ;) However, my favorite section was "Politics"--a fast-paced, brilliantly choreographed, and amusing-as-hell number. You have to be quick to catch it all--highly enjoyable.

I give them a 5 for dance skill and performance quality, a 4 for the show overall, as I think the pacing may be less than ideal for some Fringe goers. Overall, a very strong show, definitely worthwhile.

Jagged Physical Excitement
by Patrick Pfundstein Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
This show starts with a single dancer lit so that you could see the muscular shadows etched on her arms, and she proceeded to tear up a small section of the stage in a harbinger of what was to come as the other dancers joined in. Heads whipping within inches of each other, and most of the relationships defined by (an often violent) taking, not giving. Half the show was one piece, the second half was several small pieces, and two of those were my favorites; the solo with the cement block, and a wild square dance. I had to think a while about why I came out thinking 4, and I guess it came down to the show being a bit too one-note for me. The troupe sets a high bar for energy, and keeps it there, but at least to this reviewer, an arc or undulation to provide contrast would make the high energy stand out more powerfully. Great show, though, and I hope they return!

One Masterpiece
by John Munger Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
To begin with, the dancers are physically and technically fabulous. They could brush their teeth on stage and audiences would rave. This Chicago company (Same Planet Different World Dance) brings three works, one of which includes a masterpiece. The first piece, “Grey Noise” is accurately self-described as being about relationships, aggression, and related activities. There is a deliberate connection to film noir, but even though two of the guys wear white business shirts with neckties, one tied and one loose, the tone of the piece is unmistakably NOT authentic 1940’s. I’m not sure what it really is, because it’s not truly 2010 either. A reach, perhaps, for "timelessness?”

The second piece is an very interesting and succinct solo with a cinderblock as a focal point. I have a lot to say about this piece in my blog.

The third work, “Politics Religion Sex” has proven to be a great crowd-pleaser. I’d like to step aside from that reaction for parts two and three, but I think that part one, the “politics” section, is a masterpiece.

Five kitties, hell eight kitties, for “Politics”, but I have to drag it all down a bit for pacing in “Grey Noise” and for the other two parts of the last work. For further discussion see my Fringe Blog (“Going Through The Movements”) on (probably to be published some time Tuesday).

Top-notch dance
by Roy Close Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Very physical modern dance by a large Chicago troupe with technique to burn. The music, especially in the first of the three pieces, is electronic and abrasive; so what? It fits the choreography effectively. The third piece, which uses square dancing as a starting point, is the most accessible. Well worth seeing.

Absolutely Brilliant
by Cara Hillstock Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
A truly wonderful show. The beginning dance was filled with thought-provoking subjects and the dances were amazingly beautiful. The dance that served as a transition was pretty odd, but it was the filler and cut from a much larger piece, so that is only to be expected. The final piece was a hilarious commentary and satire. Absolutely wonderful, a MUST SEE.

thought provoking dance with a big payof
by mark browning milner Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
i liked each of the three dances in this performance better than the one before it, with the third offering, spoofing religion and politics and sex and country dance (!) making all that came before worth the wait. it's all well-choreographed and well-performed, but the first two are a little more serious (difficult music, intense acting) than i like. the last number, however, is a delight.

Talent quotient high
by Nick Lewandowski Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
A refreshing add to my schedule. Especially enjoyed the third piece.

Well danced, well staged, & a good time
by Kent Bergh Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
The group pieces used interesting body metaphors, the dancing was strong and clean, and the staging professional and clear. Both the physical movement and the storytelling work. The middle piece, a solo with a concrete block in a pool of light, just didn't work for me. The block actually felt distracting.
Folks have it right: all in all, you will be glad you saw the show.

by May Lee-Yang Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Loved this show. The first one was beautiful, mysterious, and creepy (though in a cool way). It definitely brought me in. The third piece was fun, energetic, and was a great commentary on sex, religion, and politics--as the title suggests. I highly recommend it.

Really Good if not Great Dance
by David Trudeau Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Three Dances. The last piece "Politics, Religion,Sex" was absolutely the most entertaining. The first piece "Grey Noise" was overworked with repetitive thematic material of tough guy and gal 50's Film Noir action that got tedious after ten minutes. The middle piece - part of "Life,Love, Death" was enchanting - I would have liked to have seen more of it and less of "Grey Noise." My partner found the sound a bit annoying at times, especially the 78 RPM hiss and click effect, distracting from the dance.

Technically wonderful
by Christy Kane Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
The dancing was incredible, but this one was just not my cup of tea.

What a Company
by Judith Martin Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Rosenthal and Stark are ambitious choreographers, and this show demonstrates their broad range. This is a big company: I counted 12 or 13 dancers, all expertly trained. The first piece almost hurt to watch with 5 dancers hurling themselves into space and the ground. The third piece was welcome relief to the intensity, all spunky fun. It would have been a 5 kitty show but for the sometimes annoying acoustical background.

Inspired, inspiring
by Ben Gansky Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
I was impressed. You/Provoke/Me is technically accomplished but more importantly driven by gut.

The first part of their performance held me rapt until the very end, which dragged for me. Recycling images and movement, it built up a narrative over time, aided by recorded film noir dialogue and the athleticism of the performers. I thought it could have ended about 3 or 5 minutes earlier, though; it had about as many false endings as the last Lord of the Rings movie.

The second piece was an interesting exercise in near-misses and longing in a solo dance.

And the final piece had me loving every second. Well-crafted and detailed, executed with a maximum of snotty schoolkid attitude, the commentary/expression of those forbidden dinner-table topics, sex/religion/politics, was funny and provocative. You provoke me, indeed.

by Claire Wellin Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
fantastic show... beautiful movement, lines, partner and solo work in the first piece. absolutely provacative, no pun intended. it was fun to see the beginning of something, as far as the second piece goes. it is rare that an audience is able to see a work in its early stages, especially one that asserts itself in that way. and the politics religion sex... YES. how satirical, harsh, funny, enjoyable. and technically fantastic; slick enough but clearly something that is experienced differently each night. these pieces are FANTASTIC social commentary. rockin indeed.

A dance show for everyone (except kids)
by Derek Reise Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
It is a dance performance for everyone, in the sense that both dancers seem to like it, and people like me who rarely if ever choose to go to a dance performance, enjoyed it.

The three pieces each keep the audience engaged continuously with beautiful movements, jarring movements, skilled performance, variety, and some comedy. I was most impressed with some of the movements near the end of the first piece, where two dancers were able to violently jerk around a third dancer in a very realistic way, but without injury.

The music was too loud and discordant at times. I'd recommend sitting further back if you want to avoid a headache.

Dance Provokes
by Peter Erickson Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Gut-provoking dance. A good balance of the angry, frustrated, near-violent in "Gray Noise," with the well-needed satire of "Politics Religion Sex."

Great Dance
by Bill McTeer Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Three wonderful pieces. From relationship codependency with a film noir sound track to a solo with a concrete block and on to the most out-of-control and in control square and line dances you've ever seen. If you don't come away exhilarated, dance isn't your thing.

No Regrets
by Sid Solomon Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
YOU/PROVOKE/ME (AGAIN) consists of three pieces, all stylistically and thematically disparate. The highlight of the night is the third, a parodic take on the states politics, religion and sex. While I would have enjoyed something to help tie the pieces together, the performances were strong, and I was, at least at moments, provoked.

Fringe highlight
by Marcia Skafte Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Stunning acting, precision movement, brilliant. Made me go home and search for the Rupert Brooke poem. No, I won't give it away.

Loved the last piece best
by Laura Hoyt Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
I found myself worried with the start of the first piece, which initially presented as overly "dramatic", but eventually it became a beautiful exploration of relationships and aloneness. The middle piece was indeed enigmatic, but interesting to watch. The last piece was by far my favorite. Not only funny at times, but hugely appealing, human emotions danced supremely. If you like dance, this is a great show to see.

great show
by je jo Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I loved this company last year; they were even better this year. Inventive, engaging, well-executed. What more can one ask. As other reviewers note, the third piece alone is worth the price of admission, but the first one is awfully good too. (The middle one was a bit more cerebral and didn't grab me, but it was, as noted, pretty short).

Dance that Takes Your Breath Away
by Andrew Fafoutakis Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Saw this on a recommendation and I couldn't be happier. Beautiful and stunning choreography with delicious lighting and sumptuous costumes. These dancers take your breath away and keep it for a solid hour and leaves you wanting more. You must fit this into your Fringe schedule. Each piece is challenging, thought-provoking, and haunting... This is what good Fringe is all about!

It/Provoked/Me(and I liked it)
by Chris Young Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
The choreography was amazing. The last piece was my favorite of the show. Each piece was danced brilliantly. I wish I could dance a tenth as well. If the square dancing I participated in many years ago would have been like this I would be doing it today.

Startling variety of pieces
by Kathy Ahlers Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Liked the first piece best. Excellent dancers who have super control--with decent costuming, and sophisticated lighting design--negotiate and renegotiate tenuous, sizzling relationships to techno-static music. Breathtaking choreography, a riveting extended set. (Edgy use of sound in the middle; see what you think about it.) Another piece featured the best and the worst of hypocritical America, upfront and in your face. A hoot.

You/Provoke/Me (Again)
by Kari Olson Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Brilliant dancers, fabulous choreography. I found my attention wandering a bit during the first piece, but I think it was me, not the the quality of the piece. The dancers were great! It would have been interesting to see where the second piece would have gone if it had been longer, but it was interesting and well-danced. I thought the third piece was absolutely brilliant! Funny and thought-provoking and wonderfully choreographed! The costuming was awesome throughout all of the pieces. Five kitties because of that last piece. Worth seeing if you love dance.

Very Engaging Action
by Liz Floyd Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I love the descriptions in the program about the dances, especially on Grey Noise. The last dance was great and very interesting. The program description does not make sense to me with what I saw, but the dance is very interesting to take in.

It/Provoked/Me (To say the least)
by Alex Letsche Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This piece was amazing! "You/Provoke/Me (again)" is the perfect title because the three different pieces in this show (just one would be worth the price of admission) provoke the audience member in three distinctly different ways. The first piece, Joanna Rosenthal's "Grey Noise" is emotionally provoking as it uses violent, edgy choreography set to vintage clips of classic films to portray strong emotions such as lust, betrayal, and solitude.
The second piece,"Life", gorgeously danced by Mary Davies Stark, is as intellectually provoking as "Grey Noise" was emotionally.
The dancer seemed to be stuck in some sort of vague limbo space, with only a cinder block to keep her company. This seemed to represent the human struggle to break free of a crushing force in one's life.
The third piece, Daniel Stark's "Politics Religion Sex" will probably become known as the most memorable dance piece of the 2010 Fringe season. While the first two pieces dealt with heavy topics rather, well, heavily this piece farcically approached the taboo subjects in its title. The ridiculous antics of the dancers left the audience roaring in laughter. It easy to see why this piece was chosen to represent the upper midwest in Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center's American College Dance Festival.
SEE THIS SHOW! You won't regret it.

Two out of three ain't bad
by Isabel Nelson Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
I saw You/Provoke/Me on a whim, and I'm really glad I did. I don't see a lot of dance performance, but this was VERY nicely done. The first piece, though long, was engaging and beautifully choreographed, and the third (Politics Sex Religion) was REALLY interesting, very funny, and extremely well executed. I could have done without the second piece, but it's the shortest of the three.

Overall, a very good evening of dance - the third piece in particular is worth going for.

Five kitties, all purring
by Eric Snyder Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
A sparkling river of brilliant choreography flows throughout the performance. As executed by these accomplished athlete-artists, you find yourself an unanticipated but delighted (and sometimes astonished) witness to the creation of new worlds right there on the stage in front of you. Love is what I feel.

If you have any interest in dance at all, this is a sure bet.

by Kassie Church Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Really great dance. Sensual, violent, funny, it has it all. The third piece is AWESOME, probably the best piece of dance I've seen in Fringe ever. Highly recommended.

Put up with first two, Third is worth it
by Craig J Maas Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
The first two dances are ok (Grey Noise & Life Love Death) however the third dance (Politics Religion Sex) is wonderful to watch extremely entertaining and really a good interpretation of topics that do not usually come up. I am also going to search out the musicians of (Politics Religion Sex) it was as wonderful to listen as it was to watch. I just changed from three kitties to five kitties because I loved the third performance that much.