Musical premiere of the new dance on “A Crossing” on the Barrington Stage in Berkshire, a group of frustrated immigrants face dangerous terrain, punish the weather, threaten warners – and their own mixed feelings of hope, loss and suspicion – as they seek security and the US-Mexico. Improved life across borders.
Directed by Joshua Burgesses with a beautiful nature and co-choreographed by Alberto Lopez with strength, heart and truth, it is a journey whose stories and characters are perfectly told in movement and song, originally and traditionally thematically, by a 12-member cast of Latin singers and dancers.
Supported by six musicians, it is a mix of Joe Garnac’s new songs mixed with Mexican folk songs, beautifully sung by the charismatic duo of Andres Quintero and Monica Tulia Ramirez, who are the ancestral spirits of the sun and moon overseeing the treacherous journey. (And Alejo Vietti’s outfit looks stunning). Beowulf Boritt has created an abstract, stimulating set that can define many dangerous places, including mountains, a raging river, and a barn.
But the creative team যার including the Calpuli Mexican Dance Company এই needs to give this long-evolving production more character and story specificity so that it can go beyond some trolls and archaeologists, and present more richly defined ones, its shadow stories and some tones.
The playwright Mark St. Germain creates a story structure that begins with a group of strangers in northern Mexico escaping from the impossible state of life. But for some of these characters, except for a lyrical line or two, very little time is given to motivate their flight, while the show will benefit by presenting in a clearer and more dramatic way.
The main immigrants are teenage Giselle (Ashley Perez Flanagan, Terrible), whose working parents have been “disappeared” by the drug cartel but who want to stay and fight instead of fleeing. But Grandpa Arturo (Carlos L. Essenius) sees crossing the border as the only way for them to survive. There is Martin (Justin Gregory Lopez), a father who wanted to reunite with his young son in the United States – he was deported by the ICE a few years ago – and Karina (Alain Mayagoita), a young pregnant woman, had an abusive relationship.
Also memorable stage moments are the Aztec Spirit of Quetzalcoatl (Caleb Marshall-Villarreal, a dynamic dance solo) and “Quet” (Omar Nives, a strong presence and dancer), who specializes in transporting refugees. Fees
But his character and the rest are portrayed in a generic – or worse, anonymous – way. Further development and detail can deepen and strengthen shows, stories, themes and influences.
Yet “a crossing”, which has strong scores (“invisible lines,” “never far away” and “tomorrow comes” particularly strong) and expressive staging, has potential. This would be especially true if its creators find more exciting moments such as heart-touching endings when an immigrant’s experience is expressed in a different light.
More drama like this – when story, song and staging come together in new ways – can make this journey worthwhile.