Bare Bait Dance Entertains Missoula With An Evening-Length Show

Gabi Wilson, Reporter

Bare Bait Dance (BBD) company has struck gold again with another sparkling performance. Their evening-length show, “When the Dust Settles” is their last show of the season and it has viewers impressed. “The work is anchored to the dynamic power of the BBD company with French’s signature choreographic style of virtuosity and playfulness,” according to Bare Bait Dance’s website.


The show was inspired by the pandemic and is about, “how community and individuals engage in the structure of everyday life… and then how we react when those habits are disrupted. While inevitably hopeful, the show plays with some themes from the past couple of years: traditions, solidarity, confusion, and the unknown.” The show can be interpreted many different ways but all with the same underlying theme. 


There are three acts in the show and they all play along with the story. The first act is “the BEFORE.” This act is wild with all of the dancers scrambling around with many chairs. They are seen wearing blue coveralls and accentuated body parts that are attached with strings. The choreography in this section is jumbled and all over the place. A common theme of this act was “drudgery.” During this act, the members are very focused on themselves and their own intentions. There was a brief pause between the first and second act where the audience could stretch their legs and to allow the company to do some work in the back for the second act. 


The second act is “the INTERRUPTION.” This section mellows out the show as it starts out calmly with swaying, hanging chairs, slower choreography, and calmer music. The members take off their body attachments and hang them on their chairs in this act and there is a sense of release.There was a fifteen minute intermission between the second and third act where the audience was able to get a drink at concessions or go to the bathroom. 


The third act is “the AFTER.” This is where the company starts seeing each other for the first time and they dance all together as a group. The main part of this act was the large hanging “chair cloud.” The dancers interact with this cloud and each other which is the main idea of the third act. They strip off their blue coveralls and there is a sense of new found freedom. 


Many have commented on Joy French’s use of a variety of music types in this show particularly. She used opera, classical, folk, and more. Some songs she used were… [choose like 6 to include here and delete the rest]. Here are all of the songs she used in show order: Gayane Suite No. 1: 1. Introduction and No. 2: VI Sabre Dance, written by Aram Khachaturian, perf by Andre Anichanov, St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra; Masquerade, Ballet Music – Suite from the Music to the “Drama of Lermontov”: V. Galop and I. Waltz, written by Aram Khachaturian, perf by Karen Khatchaturian, Moscow RTV Large Symphony; King Arthur, or The British Worthy, Z.628, Act III: What Power Art Thou (Cold Song), written by Henry Purcell and John Dryden, First track perf by Ensemble Les Folies Francoises, Patrick Cohen-Akenine, and Robert Expert, Second track perf by Les Arts Florissants, Petteri Salomaa and William Christie; 3 Gnossiennes: Gnossienne No. 1, written by Erik Satie, perf by Olof Hojer; Path 3 (7676) – Pt. 1 & 2, by Max Richter and Grace Davidson; Whale’s Song by Dobrawa Czocher and Hania Rani; Eternal Slumber by Adam Crossman; Other Strange Worlds by Sun Ra & his Astro Infinity Arkestra; 5 110 by Michael Wall; Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want, written by Johnny Marr and Morrissey, perf by Janice Whaley; Hell by Flim; One Fine Morning by Bill Callahan; and Sea Urchins by Yo La Tengo. 


This show was produced and choreographed by Bare Bait director, Joy French. There were seven company members and three apprentices who performed. The company members are Lizzie Archer, Mackenzie Black, Maeve Fahey, Tara McFarland, Grace Nolan, Tiki Preston, and Ruby Roberts. The three apprentices are Cate Gibbons, Audrey Kurz and Gabi Wilson. The lights were designed by Abbey Mosely. Ashley Zhinin was the costume designer and worked at the box office. The stage manager for this show was Loni Neilson-Kattell. Markus Paminger was production assistant. Kelly Bouma and Mike Steinberg were production videographers. Photographers for the show were Jen Delong, Donal Lakatua and Neva Oliver. 


There were three shows the weekend of April 8-10. There was a show on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. There were also shows on the 15th and the 16th. There was one show on Friday. There were two shows held on Saturday April 16. The show was streaming online at for 10 dollars. It was available from April 18 to May 1. 


This was Bare Bait’s last show of season 11 and it was a beautiful ending to a great season. This was not only the last show, but also the last time being in BBD for senior apprentices and some company members. For the most part, many will audition and return next year for another season with BBD. What’s in store for next year?