By Steve Sucato
Pittsburgh Current Dance Writer
Life as a video game is the concept behind Elisa-Marie Alaio’s new dance-theater work, Error, her 8th full-length production for fireWALL Dance Theater, June 27-30 at the Carnegie Stage.
Founded in 2014 by Alaio, the contemporary, theatrical dance company continues its string of socially-conscious works with the hourlong Error, which tells the story of 4 “players” who each have to overcome 4 gaming levels representing a different form of mental illness.
“I conceived this show from a personal place,” says Alaio. “I believe (in an odd and twisted way) that life is very similar to a video game. We are constantly winning or losing in this game…and all we can do is pick up the pieces and move on to the next obstacle we encounter.”
Danced to an original soundtrack by Reni Monteverde with gaming animation by Pittsburgh’s Luke Paulina, each dancer/player is paired with their own digital persona and sent through harrowing video game-like scenarios that force them to face their weaknesses and find their inner strength to push forward.
Says Alaio, “Level 1 is about the depression that comes after a toxic relationship; level 2 is about anxiety and feeling the urge to run away from anything and everything; level 3 is about social anxiety and the discomfort that comes with it and level 4 is about addiction and willpower.”
The work culminates with the players having cleared their levels and teaming up to try win the game. Will they be more powerful together? Or as in life, will the game adapt to get the best of them?
fireWALL dance theater performs Error, 8 p.m., Thursday, June 27 – Saturday, June 29 and 7 p.m., June 30. Carnegie Stage, 25 W Main St., Carnegie. Tickets are $20/general & $10/artists and available by calling (724) 873-3576 or visiting firewalldance.com.