Rule of 3 Productions


Chiaroscuro, which premiered through Brooks & Company Dance in 2009, explores as well as anthropomorphizes five distinct mental disorders. The piece does not glamorize those experiences, but strives to make them approachable and relatable. Mental illness exists on a spectrum and as such many disorders have elements with which we can all identify. We've all had a brush with unreasoning anxiety, unprovoked depression, a need to take control of our lives in the midst of chaos. The piece is not named for the darkness inherent in the subject matter, but for the interplay of light and shadow, which ultimately make up our lives whether we struggle with these disorders, love someone who does, or are fortunate enough to live a life untouched by these. There is a five dancer cast, with dancers trading between portraying an individual suffering from a disorder and the manifestations of the disorder itself. For instance, in the section dealing with bipolar disorder, the lead dancer is acted upon by two others representing the mania and depressive ends of her spectrum.

Described by local critic Cynthia Perry as exploring "darker sorts of relationships, depicting individuals' struggles with mental illness as physical human conflicts . . . dancers played out inner conflicts of psychological states with striking clarity." Sections of this piece have been selected for assorted festivals in Atlanta.