As Minnesota Playlist’s most respected Fringe Food Blogger, I identified just one show I felt I had to see based on name alone: A Good-Natured Gut. I arrived at the Lab knowing nothing about the show, eager but envious. (I don’t have a good-natured gut. My gut is tetchy and occasionally vicious.)

A Good-Natured Gut is a dance show created by three young women with the surprising but sensible combination of dance training and psychology study. Together they’ve choreographed a series of dances grouped into five “gut reactions:” Sadness, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Joy. I loved the concept of the show. I enjoyed the performance, but would have enjoyed it more if they’d gone further. The fear could have been scarier. The anger, angrier. The disgust, more disgusting, etc. But I hope the LS Dance Collaborative will continue to work together and create more “food for thought.” FOOD BLOG!

I’ve seen quite a few dance shows in the past couple of days, which is too bad for FOOD BLOG because I don’t really understand dance and can’t describe it. But, oh, how I love it. If I could dance, I would dance and dance, all the time.

The classical dance of Ballet Amore really hit the spot for me on Saturday night. It’s the real deal, with tutus and pointe shoes and little girls being all balleriny which is adorable if you can set aside worrying how messed up they’ll be in ten years. The show also veers through ballroom and modern dance with ample evidence of the strength, control and discipline required by dance. Which is kind of annoying for actors because we mostly just wing it.

My favorite of all the dance shows I’ve seen was Soiree Preview presented by Kinetic Evolutions. This was modern dance and it was very swirly. The choreography, all by Sarah Larose-Holland, was inventive and the dancers were expressive and charming. Swirly, swirly, leap, slide, swirl some more!

And then there’s Green Eyes. Not a dance show. A sad little sketch by Tennessee Williams. He creates claustrophobic, over-heated little prisons, populated by awful people doing awful things to each other. But it’s never entirely their fault. They’re the products of an awful world. They do what they can to anesthetize themselves from the world, but then they want to feel something, so they claw at one another and hope they’ll be clawed back. And if the claws go deep enough, then maybe they’ll feel alive for a moment.

It’s no fun. But it’s great. We anesthetize ourselves all the time, with TV and food and drink and drugs and stupid ideas and cool phones. And for most of us, that’s enough. It’s never enough for Tennessee Williams and he just keeps clawing. Even as he sank deeper and deeper into pills and drink, he wrote every day. Trying to get at something real and deep and maybe clean. That should inspire us. So the next time you’re enjoying a drink, offer a little toast to Tennessee and don’t be afraid of the claws.