It’s the most essential piece of furniture in the living room, and in this age of endless TV binging and lazy weekends, it may have replaced the kitchen table as the heart of the house.
The sofa is, as Of Moving Colors’ Courtney Landry says, “where so much of our lives happen.”
Landry, the associate artistic director for the contemporary dance and theater organization, says she has dreamed for years about choreographing a performance around the humble couch—the subject of this month’s “The Sofa Stories.”
The idea dates back to her early teens as a competition dancer, when she would obsessively watch dance videos. “I saw one piece that involved this dumpy old sofa that was kind of leaning on its side and, with how the dancers used it in the piece, it was just a big moment for me,” she says.
Landry took on creative direction for OMC’s 2017-2018 season and jumped at the chance to curate the interconnected dances for “The Sofa Stories” themed around family, romance and even mundane moments of life like folding laundry or nursing a hangover.
The production includes two love seats and one larger sofa—all in red and upcycled for the show.
Fans familiar with the unique performances OMC has staged might remember a similar production in 2013 using abstract furniture built by sculptor Peter Shire. At the time, Shire was a visiting artist at LSU’s School of Art, which provided a chance for collaboration as well as a literal jumping-off point for OMC’s agile dancers.
But Artistic Director Garland Goodwin Wilson says there’s a stark difference in this new show.
“With Peter Shire, those were abstract objects that became literal in the show,” she says. “But this is more of a literal object becoming more abstract. Everything in the show is inspired by our experiences on the sofa. … I think it’s fascinating what it means to different people. The parameters are so vast.”
SEE THE SHOW
Of Moving Colors’ “The Sofa Stories” will be performed at the Manship Theatre June 8-9 at 7:30 p.m. both days. For more information, go to ofmovingcolors.org.
This article was originally published in the June 2018 issue of 225 Magazine.