4 Things You Need To Know Before Panorama Playground


Dance Waterloo’s upcoming performance will be one of whimsy and play. I had the pleasure of attending one of the final rehearsals before you all get to experience the magic on January 28 and 29. I must tell you, as a person untrained in dance and a curious observer I hadn’t the vaguest idea what I was witnessing. Panorama Playground, the vision brought to life by choreographers Morgan Teel and Rachael Hulse, is a piece performed in collaboration with an exhibition called Hurlyburly, ​on view at 74 Trinity Street, near the Boathouse at the Waller Creek Delta.

To my untrained eye the performance appeared whimsical, challenging, and creative. The type of movement I saw on the hills of Hurlyburly peaked my curiosity about intent, inspiration, and how as an audience member I can absorb everything there is to offer from such an experience. I interviewed the dancers and have shared their answers with you here, so that you too can have the best possible experience with this unique piece.

1. What is Hurlyburly?


Hurlyburly is an installation piece created by Orly Genger, a New York City-based artist and designer, created by hand-knotting hundreds of feet of repurposed lobster rope. But since it also looks like a gallery piece, it can have a confusing effect on viewers. Rachael, upon her first encounter with the installation, was unsure how close is too close when it comes to this massive exhibition. I experienced the same trepidation, initially. But fear not, it was the artist’s intention for Hurlyburly to be interactive and durable art, meant for children and adults alike to play upon if they wish. For choreographers, the texture of the rope, the environment created by the hills, and the topography of the location are what makes the installation interesting as a space for deliberate and choreographed movement. It is not without its own challenges, however. For Paige Edwards, a dancer with DW, ​the biggest challenge with this project has been “the physicality necessary to make the movement look stable yet free at the same time. Rolling hills of crab net is not the easiest on your body while laying on your back, running, or trying to balance.” Experiential learning had to take place quickly once the choreography moved from the studio to the performance location.

2. What can I expect when I get there?

Another unique feature of this performance is the option for each audience member to listen to their own playlist while watching the performance. Modelled after the silent disco, where people dance to music they listen to on wireless headphones, each audience member will be provided a set of multichannel headphones, from which they can choose three different playlists while they watch the show. Or, if you’re not a fan of DJ’ing your own experience, you’re more than welcome to forego the headphones and listen to the music played on the speaker.

3. What are the dancers thinking while they perform?


According to choreographer and executive director Rachael Hulse, she pulls inspiration from the uneven landscape: “when I’m moving through the improvised piece, my body tends to fall different directions based on where I am on each hill. I have to make a choice to either submit to gravity or combat it. Running, sliding, jumping..I am using my body to trace the shapes of what I perceive. I’ll explain it like this: if you were to lay a piece of vellum over Hurlyburly, my goal is to mimic the shapes with my body.” For Paige, her​ inspiration comes from living in Austin and taking in all of the beautiful aspects of the culture, topography, people, art, and architecture. She says “as dancers in the show, we constantly interact together and separately – those moments to me represent the sporadic and sometimes deliberate lengthy or short encounters that happen everyday in Austin. It’s the beautiful quirky randomness that happens everyday here.”

4. What should I hope to get from this performance?

I’ll let Rachael answer this one–“I want the audience to come away with a renewed sense of curiosity; I want them to wonder what the heck is going on, but I want that reaction to transfer to viewing their everyday environments differently. It’s playful, it’s quirky, and it’s a conglomeration of experiences we’ve seen other people have at Hurlyburly. People come to exercise, they come to play–we came up with the name “Panorama Playground” after what we saw from the top of Hurlyburly. If you take a 360 degree twirl at the top you get a view of what Austin really is. We try to capture what we’ve seen both in Hurlyburly and the playground.” We have provided an element for everyone–whether you enjoy music, enjoy the outdoors, watching dance, or just enjoying a hot beverage. This event is family friendly, so don’t feel like you have to stand still; move, talk, sing as you find most comfortable and engaging to you.

So, bring a friend, grab a pair of our headphones, get a drink, relax and prepare for a fun experience at Panorama Playground. We hope you enjoy. You can reserve your headsets in advance here.


Kelsey Hulse

Assistant Blog Editor

Dance Waterloo

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *