A three-headed human fly? Totem poles that come to life? Velcro-helmeted weirdoes who defy the laws of physics?
Is this a horror movie or a comic book?
No, it’s Galumpha, a New York-based dance trio whose daring combination of physical comedy, acrobatic choreography and striking visual effects is quickly earning a national following.
In January, the troupe will descend upon St. Louis for a special, one-time-only matinee at Edison Theatre.
The performance, presented as part of the Edison Theatre ovations! for young people series, will begin at 11 a.m. Jan. 15.
According to anthropologists, “galumphing” is the manifestation of the seemingly inexhaustible store of play-energy one finds in children, puppies, kittens and other higher life forms.
“We galumph when we hop instead of walk,” writes Stephen Nachmanovitch in Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art, “when we take the scenic route instead of the efficient one.”
Galumpha the dance company delivers a fast-paced, athletic mix of art and entertainment, obliterating boundaries between the ridiculous and the sublime.
The troupe was formed in 2002 by Andy Horowitz and Greg O’Brien, artists-in-residence at Binghamton University. Rounding out the team is Marlon Torres, a former child television star in his native Venezuela.
Horowitz and O’Brien have performed together for more than 20 years, having met as students at Binghamton (then the State University of New York-Binghamton) in 1982. They formed their first troupe, The Sticks, in 1986 and in 1987 commenced a 15-year run with dancer Paul Gordon as The Second Hand Dance Company.
The duo’s performing and choreographic credits include Serious Fun at Lincoln Center in New York; Just for Laughs in Montreal; The Staat Schowberg in Am-sterdam; Man-Made at New York’s Joyce Theater; Ireland’s Galway Arts Festival; and Spoleto-USA in Charleston, S.C., among many others.
Other projects range from “Ecstasy,” an MTV video with the band Rusted Root, to a Japanese television commercial, the British game show The Generation Game and more than 1,000 workshops and lecture demonstrations for children.
As Galumpha, Horowitz, O’Brien and Torres have toured widely, performing at venues around the world and earning a prestigious Edinburgh Festival Critic’s Choice Award. They have been featured on MTV, Showtime, A&E and The Late Show With David Letterman, among many others, and in Jerry Lewis’s 2002 Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon.
Ovations! for young people presents affordably priced — and family friendly — matinee shows by nationally and internationally recognized performing artists. The series compliments the signature Edison Theatre OVATIONS! series, which serves both the University and the St. Louis community by providing the highest caliber national and international artists in music, dance and theater, performing new works as well as innovative interpretations of classical material not otherwise seen in St. Louis.
Edison Theatre programs are supported by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency, and the Regional Arts Commission, St. Louis.
Tickets are $7 and are available at the Edison Theatre Box Office and through all MetroTix outlets.
For more information, call 935-6543.