The first dance show I’ve seen at this year’s 2012 Toronto Fringe Festival, The Gravity Hour, produced by Kiri Figueiredo Dance, offers an intense hour of four unique dance pieces, featuring the talented works of three choreographers and performed by exceptional dancers.
Opening with Temperature of Weight, a quartet of dancers, dressed in heavy trench coats move powerfully with precision and endurance. Choreography created by Kiri Figueiredo herself, showcases Figueiredo and ensemble Sarah Fregeau, Daniel McArthur, and Andrea Spaziani.
A powerhouse performance, this technically challenging number was a crowd pleaser and definitely set the stage for others to come. Frenetic and demanding, it represented for me the urban lifestyle, as the dancers were burdened by the weight and pressure of their trench coats. The creative use of this costume piece was simply brilliant.
The second piece entitled, Mary starts off quite dramatically, performed by Stephanie Tremblay Abubo, whose character, clearly emotionally distraught, stares aimlessly into space. Dressed in a girlish pink dress, Mary takes us on a trip down memory lane, however painful and lonely.
At times, cute and tender, at others, disturbing, Mary is about a young woman struggling to find her voice, coming to terms with a troubling past and finding the courage to move forward. Michael Caldwell’s choreography and direction was distinctly unique and Abubo beautifully captures the vulnerability of her character both emotionally and physically.
Woman Kneeling in Dress, once again features the lovely dancer and choreographer Kiri Figueiredo, whose movements, both fluid and direct, convey the heartbreak that comes from abandonment. Gliding on stage in a flowing gown, Figueiredo stunningly embraces feminine strength and resiliency.
The final number, a contrast to the others, but equally powerful, was very much evolutionary in theme. Den, choreographed by Shannon Litzenberger and performed by duet Jesse Dell and Jordana Deveau of JD Dance, is raw, instinctive, and animalistic. The dancers embrace, carry, grab, pull, push, and drag ultimately seeking reign on their territory.
The Gravity Hour presented by Kiri Figueiredo Dance was a great start to my series of dance shows this 2012 Toronto Fringe. It is so refreshing to see dance as part of this festival. Impressive and powerful, I promise you will be mesmerized by what you see in this hour.
- The Gravity Hour is playing at the Robert Gill Theatre, 214 College St., 3rd Floor.
- Show dates include: Saturday, July 71:00 pm –Sunday, July 8 10:15 pm–Wednesday, July 11 6:15 pm,-Thursday, July 12 8:30 pm-Friday, July 13 4:00 pm- Saturday, July 14 3:30 pm
- All individual Fringe tickets are $10 ($5 for FringeKids) at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at www.fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062, in person at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street (Advance tickets are $11 – $9+$2 service charge)
- Value packs are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows
Photograph taken by Omer Yuksek