Katharine Hawthorne’s performance, Between the Wish and the Thing appeared at the Boulder Fringe Festival this year. The performance was a dive into the unknown, exploring passing time and the past, present and future. Her piece appeared at the Boulder Fringe Festival in Kelly’s Barn in collaboration with Elizabeth Chitty and John Chandler Hawthorne. The dancers broke the fourth wall and engaged the audience with interaction. When the performance started, we were all asked to open fortune cookies that had been laid out on the patio for us as the performer danced a few of our fortunes. As the performer danced on the patio, there was another performer dancing on the porch of Kelly’s Barn. She danced in and around plastic wrap, making me think of her as a fortune.

The performer on the patio then brought us to the porch and we followed her inside the barn to an open space. I was asked by the performer to pick a seat that felt uncertain to me so I sat in front of the chairs instead of in a chair. Viewing the piece up close made interaction between the audience and the performers more possible. The dancers came within a foot of me as they improvised together. They even held eye contact with me. The performance felt special because of the mix of improvisation and choreographed work. I felt like I could see every performance and always find something different and an expansion of the theme of time. The improvisation made the piece special because it could not be replicated. The dances felt like a gift.

Other themes I saw were the future being uncertain, things not going the way we thought and that we need to break through our current perceptions to open ourselves up to the future. Towards the ending of the piece, we were asked to tear through the plastic wrap out on the porch with the force of our bodies working together. I interpreted this part of the piece as opening ourselves up to a future as a community and working together to break through old ways of thinking so that we can be open to change.

Julia Bartlett is a Massachusetts native who traded the ocean for the mountains. She is currently a graduate student at CU Boulder pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing. She seeks to make her MFA interdisciplinary by taking choreography courses as well as writing workshops. She has created dances that have involved locking herself in closets, slashing lipstick all over her body and becoming a nature spirit. Her work has been performed at CU Boulder and the Riverside Events Center. She is also a certified Reiki practitioner and is building her practice in Boulder.