Conceptually, I found the premise intriguing: to explore “the idea of audiences not seeing dancers as relatable but rather as highly skilled technicians who can do things with their bodies that most people can’t”.
Do I think it succeeded? Not really.
The first half of the performance consists of six performers gathered around a dinner table, sharing “insights” about their lives and about their various pet peeves.
However, the execution of this part of the production left much to be desired, as it failed to really take the performance space into consideration. Throughout the first scene, all six performers speak in semi-hushed tones while constantly talking over one another, which made hearing the dialogue extremely difficult. I could only imagine what it was like for patrons seated further back.
The actual dialogue itself felt overly imposing, trying to portray a sense of depth where none truly existed. I don’t exactly consider it ground-breaking to scream at the top of your lungs that you ‘just wish people would accept you for who you are’ or that you ‘hate it when people goad you into trying food from their plate’.
So depth. Much insight.
There were a couple of fantastic moments around the halfway mark that almost verged on being relevant, such as a wonderfully choreographed bit where the dancers battled each other over a microphone in order to have their voices heard – or my favourite element – an acoustic performance where three of the dancers used their bodies to express the spectrum of longing, loneliness and finally finding a place to belong. In fact, much more meaning and insight were expressed in the trio’s movements, than the rest of the performance combined.
While there were moments of brilliant free-form dance that showcased each performer’s range and skill, I found this performance to lack any real sense of purpose or cohesion. And despite the show’s mandate of getting me to relate to the dancers and to the material, I just couldn’t find myself becoming emotionally invested in the performance.
To be fair, there were a few patrons who seemed to absolutely love this piece. But from what I observed, there were quite a few more who seemed just as disinterested as I was.
Remaining Show Times
Wednesday, August 12th: 9:30 PM
Friday, August 14th: 4:45 PM
Saturday, August 15th: 1:30 PM
All individual SummerWorks tickets are $15 at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at http://summerworks.ca, by calling the Ticketwise Call Centre at 416-907-0468, or in person at the SummerWorks Info Booth – located at SummerWorks Central Box Office at Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst Street). Open August 4-16 from 10 AM – 7 PM (Advance tickets are $15 + service fee).
Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 3 shows.
Photo Credit: rockitpromo