Ann: “I’m so tired of people sitting at a dance concert and going ‘So, uh, what was going on there, what did they mean by that?’”
Bruce: “It’s not that we don’t like avant-garde slogs. We’ve been responsible for our share of them and attend them with enthusiasm. This one is not. It’s a fun evening.”
Ann: “It’s not about keeping the dance at arms length. It’s about bringing the dance in.”
That’s Barking Legs in a nutshell. This month, I heard an improvisational pianist and virtuoso acoustic bluegrass on back-to-back nights. Last month, I saw a group of percussionists make beautiful, hypnotic music on amplified two-by-fours. Last week I saw cheeky dances with knives inspired by a long-dead bluesman.
Despite its extreme diversity—or maybe because it—it’s all art with heart, played and presented up close and personal without pretension or hype by real people sharing what they love. Check it out. Even the avant-garde stuff is more accessible than it sounds. Those two-by-fours were really amazing.
Upcoming anniversary shows at Barking Legs include Rahsaan Barber (modern jazz, Nov. 14), Norman and Nancy Blake’s Rising Fawn String Ensemble (bluegrass, Nov. 15), and Bombadil with Birds With Fleas (folk/pop, Nov. 16). Full schedule at barkinglegs.org.