It's safe to say that I'm always around the West 50's; It's kind of my territory, I was raised there! But despite that, my knowledge of New York City Center was limited prior to seeing Sequence 8. I faintly recall being dragged (yes, dragged) by my parents to some of its dance shows when I was very young. And New York City Center acted as a playground for me more than anything else. Every time I passed it, I used to pretend that its bottom step was a tightrope, and would carefully walk across the length of it with my arms stretched out for balance. It became such routine for me that I unashamedly practice this behavior to this day (it's sort of a good luck thing at this point). So imagine my astonishment when my boyfriend's Saturday night surprise led me to New York City Center, of all places!
We found our seats and it hit me that I was in a theatre I hadn't been inside of for OVER A DECADE. Like, more than ten years! Jesus. That long ago I was still in elementary school, for God's sake!
A man walked on stage with a microphone and delivered a super genuine welcome speech. He thanked us for being where we were, acknowledging that we could have chosen to be anywhere else, and emphasized the fact that the following performance would be different than it's ever been before or ever will be. I believed every word he said.
The stage quickly filled with people, all interpretively dancing to music. It was pleasant and lulling, and just as I was wondering whether or not the entire show would carry on that way, acrobatics were incorporated. *Cue dramatic music*
Two men held opposite ends of a beam that couldn't have been more than a few inches wide. A woman was helped onto this beam before proceeding to jump scarily high in the air, do flips that rivaled something out of the Summer Olympics, and land perfectly on her feet. This continued for many minutes, her tricks getting more complex with time. And the more complex they got, the more I was convinced she was going to break her neck. But it all went down without a hitch, and this woman didn't even look nervous. How could she trust those men not to let her fall? How could she trust herself to leap?
A man horizontally stacked several small boxes (in the air!) all to the beat of a song that I soon fell in love with. More and more boxes were added and stacked in rhythm and I was on the edge of my seat, almost willing him to screw up so he'd seem more human.
He dropped one.
But it wasn't this momentous event like I'd imagined. It happened, but it didn't seem to influence anybody on stage. The man didn't even flinch. His fellow performers were like a giant Patronus, an impenetrable wall of support and trust that made him untouchable. What was one fallen box, after all? He was still a BEAST.
Sequence 8 connected with me on a personal level. Halfway through the show, while the acrobats rested, two of the performers interviewed the audience, actually taking the time to interact with us. It was raw, human, and it proved that the show was about so much more than wowing people with impressive feats. It was like being at the circus, but without all the fanfare. And I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.