Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bicycle Belles

Here’s how joy is made manifest: take five to seven stunningly attractive young women—and one charmingly adorable young man—put them in tantalizingly revealing purple garb—and in his case, impressively reflective gold lame shorts—have them spend the better part of a year working up dance routines featuring 16-inch wheeled kiddie bikes and custom-made velo-props, gather half a hundred cyclists including a good mix of choppers, tall bikes, and fixed gears, throw in a keg or so of beer and homemade fermented yerba maté, and parade together through Seattle’s industrial wasteland to three different locations where, at each, the performers put on a show of two-wheel-themed choreography that blows you away with its charm, precision, and often real poignancy; if this doesn’t make you hoop and holler with happiness, then you must not have been paying attention—or maybe you just need another cup of that maté stuff.

Move over Portland’s Sprockettes; make room Vancouver’s B.C. Clettes, and welcome to the stage Seattle’s very own Bicycle Belles, our town’s homegrown and legendary bicycle dance troupe; yesterday they graced us with three separate routines, each slightly more accomplished than the one before, all polished, precise, and professional, but still ragged enough to be magic and dangerous at the same time.

The first number, a short bit with just five of the team, showcased the Belles’ pinpoint control as they emerged from a tableau and rode taut figure-eights around each other. The second, slightly longer, piece highlighted the troupe’s exuberance with moments where bikes were embraced, intertwined with, and made romance to.

And then finally, the piece de resistance came after sunset as the full company performed a jaw-droppingly impressive work of bicycle theater featuring ambitious production values and properties: each performer carried a glow-in-the-dark “fan” made of half a bicycle wheel, the moments when those fans came together to complete the circle suddenly brought tears to my eyes, joy made manifest, heartwarming, whole, all as one.


Anonymous Bicycle Belles said...

What a beautiful compliment- such well received enthusiasm for our fun makes all the work well worth it! The goal to socialize, share and entertain was reached; all created in 'free-space'. ***YeaH for BiKes***
Just a note: We all ride on 20-inchers... for now ;)
And, we will be performing at Georgetown's Art-topia on June 27th
DBdownhill on August 7th
NWFilmforum's Bike-In on August 23rd

10:41 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home