Dancers spin a new outlook on reading

Katie Mastro

In celebration of banned books week, ArchiTexture Dance Company choreographed a performance that showed Sept. 28-30 and will be showing again Oct. 5-7.

Mightier than the Sword: Dancing Volumes for banned books week, was set in the Saddleback College library.

The performance presented nine works of literature that have been or still are banned in some parts of the United States.

Such books include “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” The Bell Jar, The Odyssey, Fahrenheit 451, “Inferno,” “Howl,” The Cast of Amontillado, 1984, and “Othello.”

It is a peculiar rendition of a typical play because there is a guide, much like Virgil in “Inferno,” who lures the audience about the library, informing it about the work of literature and then letting the performance unfold in front of their very eyes.

Many of the audience members were entranced by how strikingly close the performances were in proximity to them.

“I found it disturbing, yet riveting,” said David Alexanderodnokov, 29. “At times, it felt like the performers were going to pull me into the dance.”

All of the performances were scattered about the library, and Dante’s “Inferno” was on the staircase, allowing viewers to peer from the top floor of the library to witness Dante being led by Virgil down to the second floor. This greatly enhanced the experience for some.

“While watching Dante’s “Inferno” being performed, I felt like I was being dragged down with Dante,” Alexanderodnokov said. “You were literally looking down.”

Even though a lot of the audience came out of the library cheerful and amazed, some, however, were upset by one performance in particular.

“They did not represent “Othello” like it actually is in the play,” said Roxane Sharp, 21, English. “In the play, Othello accuses Iago; he doesn’t immediately kill himself after he kills Desdemona.”

Despite this minor error, Mightier than the Sword’s location in the library was very creative and unique, advocating the idea that reading books, especially those that are banned, is powerful.

Visit the dance company’s website, for more information about tickets and the performance in general.

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