Belgian troupe's Kiss & Cry blends performance disciplines; Unlisted: Second Steel explores city spaces | Theater | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Belgian troupe's Kiss & Cry blends performance disciplines; Unlisted: Second Steel explores city spaces

"You're watching a live film being made."

NanoDanses' Kiss & Cry
NanoDanses' Kiss & Cry

Performance-art troupes frequently blur genres, for instance blending video with live action. Belgium-based NanoDanses takes things one step further, if not two.

Choreographer Michèle Anne De May and filmmaker Jaco Van Dormael's Kiss & Cry tells the story of an elderly woman recalling her greatest loves. But the actors are the hands of performers that dance and mime on a miniature set, all while the action is tracked by cameras, feature-film style, and projected onscreen for the theatrical audience, with poetic voiceover narration.

"You're watching a live film being made," says Paul Organisak, who curated the show for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts. "It's stunningly beautiful."

Performances internationally have left reviewers remarking on the expressiveness of hands, and on NanoDanses' evocation of setting ranging from desert to undersea (employing a fish tank). Video excerpts online suggest a dreamy sensibility, with set pieces including a model train, and a scene where two miniature beds dance amidst fallen leaves.

Kiss & Cry makes its U.S. premiere with three performances at the New Hazlett Theater. 8 p.m. nightly Tue., Oct. 1, Wed., Oct. 2, and Thu., Oct. 3. 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. $25. 412-456-6666 or

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A new initiative uses free, site-specific, interactive performances in three neighborhoods to explore how Pittsburgh perceives the idea of "revitalization."

Unlisted: Second Steel is the second stop for Unlisted, a project founded by an international group of graduate students in Belgrade, Serbia. In Belgrade, Unlisted interrogated that city's unused spaces. Second Steel teams locally based and visiting artists — including theater collective Yinzerspielen — to ask what "revitalization" actually means here. 

The series begins inside East Liberty boutique Townhouse (6016 Penn Ave.), with an interactive performance and installation that's ongoing from 7-10 p.m. Wed., Sept. 25, and noon-6 p.m. Thu., Sept. 26. It features dancers from The Pillow Project and a sound design in which interview subjects discuss how they travel.

Second Steel continues at 7 p.m. Thursday and 7 p.m. Friday in the North Side's parking lot 7H (at Sandusky Street and Lacock), with a performance work exploring how things like raised highways can separate people. 

And at 2 p.m. Saturday, on two empty Hill District lots at 2306 Centre Ave., four performers — including local names Christina Springer and Edwin Lee Gibson — present an audience-interactive work on a set designed by local architects.

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