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E.E. Balcos doesn’t disappoint in Fringe’s ‘Run to Shelter’

“Run to Shelter,” a Fringe performance by Tennessee-based Shelter Repertory Dance Theatre, got on my list because of guest artist E.E. Balcos. A former resident of the Twin Cities, Balcos used to perform with the late Sam Costa’s highly physical dance company, before moving to North Carolina. So the chance to see him perform was a draw and not disappointing.

His trio “So Far,” with Shelter’s artistic director Kim Neal Nofsinger and dancer Erin Rehberg, was one of the most abstract of the concert’s concept-driven works. The trio features an intricate tangle of lines and shapes that merge and morph like a Moebius strip, performed with geometric clarity and muscular phrasing.

Shelter’s “Stones in the Pocket: A Meditation on Virginia Woolf” was memorable for the multilayered meanings embedded in the balls of paper scattered around the stage: rocks, crumpled drafts of writing, riverbed. Many of these papers end up in the dancers’ pockets (a reference to Woolf’s suicidal drowning), as they fold, lean, tilt and lift their bodies in a choreography of catch, release and support.

Also on the program is “First Bite,” which conjures the Garden of Eden with its rows of apples and trio of performers — one of whom deliciously references the serpent. Otherwise, the choreography in this concert of the lyrical kind — lots of flowing, reaching, stretching movement without a lot of oomph behind it.

“Run to Shelter,” Intermedia Arts, 2822 S. Lyndale Ave., Minneapolis. 4 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. Sunday.

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