Cantankerous was created as a response to adulthood. After spending 18+ years in an education system that prepares us to be in close-knit community, using each other as a resource to hone and challenge our minds, too many people are thrust into the world without any outlet to gather with their peers and ask real questions together.
When approaching this conundrum, the arts and public performance provide so many potential solutions and yet so rarely are they utilized. Each performance hundreds of people come together, close enough to touch, taking in a singular unifying experience and percolating internally with their own questions and reactions. When it ends, however, this precious community that has just been fostered is instantly disbanded.
Cantankerous seeks to change that. We create performances with a premium on how it will be taken in and digested. Our work questions the tender edges of our humanity and our dialogues remove the passivity of the audience by thrusting those questions into their hands, minds and voices.
Dance is often marketed as a universal language, a medium we can all understand, but sometimes the reality of the abstracted bodies in contemporary work can leave the audience feeling alienated and less connected to their bodies, unfortunately a feeling too many of us have become accustomed to.
At Cantankerous we strive to present work that illuminates and reminds us of the richness of our bodies; both their limitless capacity for incredible tasks, and the quiet, captivating subtlety and intimacy they can invoke.
By carefully abstracting familiar movement patterns, the viewer gains the ability to re-examine touch, emotion, relationship, and gestures that bear eerie closeness to our lived experience and yet remain distant enough for us to examine and interpret as if from outside ourselves.
First and foremost, because at Cantankerous we f*#cking love this town. We love the brilliance of our academic community, the insanity of our sports fans, the never-ending fervor of the political dissent. We love the endlessly lively fray of cultural, emotional and cerebral expression that keeps redefining its boundaries. We love the passion and dedication of the artistic community.
At the same time we are frustrated that Boston has not been able to create the active audience and financial support to make it possible for world-class dance projects to survive and thrive here.
We know Boston can find the capacity that has already come together in smaller US cities and we are committed to being an active part of that equation. We are here to help turn up the heat, turn on the audience and join in creating enthusiastic support for a truly loud, proud and provocative dance community.