"THE BUCKET," SB Dance, Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Friday; additional performances Friday-June 15 (355-2787 or 1-800-451-2787).
With six metal pails, an aluminum tub and a load of ping-pong balls, the possibility for dance is unlimited.
That's how the three dancers of SB Dance approach the newest work by choreographer/artistic director Stephen Brown.
Brown and former Ririe-Woodbury dancers Christine Hasegawa and Liberty Valentine carry on in an array of presentations that are both humorous and poignant.
"The Bucket" is different from other SB Dance productions because there is no running theme — no storyline or linear concept, as there have been in such past productions as "Ballet Noir," "Scampdance" and "Frank's Ticker."
Brown and company manage, however, to keep a continual thread lacing together the little segments in this hourlong work.
The pails become the Holy Grail. They become helmets and they become shields. They become musical instruments when the ping-pong balls are tossed in the buckets and shifted around.
There is more to the tub than first meets the eye. It's a percussion instrument, and then, in a flip of the wrist, it turns into a marriage altar, a table, a chair, a wheel and even a place to hide.
All three dancers manage to fit in the medium-size tub for some eye-popping illusions. In fact, there are times when audience members find themselves holding their collective breath as the dancers pull off some dangerous moves.
Balancing on the edges of the tub and lying on its rims are just a few moves the dancers casually execute. As for the dancing itself, there is a lot of it. No spoken words and no projected visuals on the backdrop.
Brown has come full circle as an artist. He's created dance for movement's sake.
Running in place becomes dance in Hasegawa's hands. And the physically demanding gymnastic-like moves are fluid and lyrical, as with most of Brown's works.
Energy levels run high as Hasegawa runs in place. Valentine's poise, even in the face of wacky visuals, is tight. Brown, though, at times appears to be looking out for the other two, and is as wry and dry as he has been in the past.
The only problem is that the series of works does get a little monotonous, even though Brown's dress and the rattling of the ping-pong balls are always welcome.