A Glimmer of Hope or Skin or Light

Photo by Kevin Kauer

KT Niehoff conjures subterranean emotion.

According to choreographer KT Niehoff, there are very few works from her decades-long career that she would remount. One is A Glimmer of Hope or Skin or Light, a wildly successful dance/theatre/cabaret piece that premiered in 2010 as part of ACT Theatre’s experimental incubator the Central Heating Lab. Five years later, Glimmer returns, electrifying good and evil with hyperbolic action and sensational costuming.

“I wanted to get darker and shadier than my past shows,” Niehoff says of the original impetus for Glimmer. “I was ready to go into uncharted subterranean emotional territory.” She was really into vampires at the time.

Glimmer lacks a linear narrative and instead revolves around a dark, beautiful fantasy world laced with realism and moral ambiguity. A group of outgoing, flirtatious showgirls makes up a sensual and evil coven and a roving White Queen provides an emotional lens for audience members, who are encouraged to move about the theatre during the performance.

While the bulk of the choreography and characters remain the same for this remount, the cast will be completely different from the original. Molly Sides, City Arts August cover star, plays the White Queen. The roles are evolving to fit the new cast.

“I capitalize on my artists,” Niehoff says. “I read them and create an environment where they can be their best as performers. These roles are unique, they are not replaceable—it was very clear I couldn’t just put a dancer in a role and get the same thing as the original.”

Glimmer mixes punk rock, moody instrumentals and covers from Pippin and Cabaret into an original score. Niehoff’s longtime musical collaborator Ivory Smith returns to front the live band, with Niehoff taking turns at the mic.

Oct. 30 – Nov. 14
ACT Theatre

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