Dance/theater works about AIDS have become as commonplace as newspaper stories about the disease's statistic. One of the latest dance/theater pieces to play Baltimore is "Before Forever," by Philadelphia's Danceteller troupe. Currently at Theatre Project, the 5-year-old work combines music, dance and words to paint a poignant picture of life with AIDS.
Created by choreographer Trina Collins, playwright Robert Barnett and musician Micki Rossi, "Before Forever" may have been on the cutting edge five years ago, but today the work is not always as strong as it could be. This was most apparent in the first half of the work, where the dancers seemed too comfortable with their roles and where some judicious editing would help move the work along.
The piece opens with five dancers -- John M. Blanchard, Ms. Collins, Van Grimes, Josie Smith and Paul Struck -- playing a variety of childhood games. Their innocence and playfulness evolve as they change their games into tag. The game of tag becomes a physical metaphor for shunning, and we watch as four dancers run from the one who is "it," while we hear how friends can shun someone who has been "diagnosed."