Fracture (Good Women Dance Collective) Toronto Fringe 2013 Review

Fracture opened at the Randolph Theatre to a small audience. Granted it was three in the afternoon on a Friday, so this did not leave a bad impression. Though it was a sparse crowd, the Women’s Dance Collective commanded attention for their first performance at Toronto Fringe 2013.

Fracture is a combination of two contemporary dance performances laden with different emotional meanings. The first act “Pod” is choreographed by Alida Nyquist- Schultz, who is also one of the two performers, along with Ainsley Hillyard. The second act is “Shatterstate,” where Ainsley Hillyard returns with Kate Stashko and Alison Kause, the choreographer.

“Pod” is about growth, separation and loneliness expressed through two dancers existing in and then leaving an organism. The organism is a long plastic sheet that covers the surface of the stage. The dancers begin under the sheet, searching and struggling for an exit. For the first ten minutes all I saw was an idea of the dancers. They were only blurs of movement under the plastic cover. The scenario was reminiscent of an alien abduction scene, which explains the title “Pod.” The dance carries the same feeling of extra-terrestrial eeriness.

“Shatterstate” plays with the idea of perspective. The piece shows three dancers’ accounts of the same event, all retold with different movements to show the illusion of the real state. The dancers wear the same outfit, as if to show they are connected but disconnected.

Fracture was interesting to watch, but it was very different than I expected, mostly because of the lack of music. I understand that music does not have to accompany dance, but I found I had trouble adjusting to its absence. But the theatre was not silent. In both acts there was the persistent sound of wind blowing, and in “Shatterstate” there was also sounds of rumbling and glass breaking. The noises made my skin crawl, even though I knew it was light and loud outside the theatre doors.

Fracture is not your regular dance show. The pieces concentrate less on musicality and rhythm. They prefer to use their dancers’ bodies to express something heavy with meaning. It’s strange and challenging, but if you’re up for the challenge you should check out their next show.


Fracture is playing at Randolph Theatre, 736 Bathurst Street, Toronto.


July 6th – 3:30 pm
July 7th – 7:00pm
July 10th – 5:45 pm
July 11th – 3:30 pm
July 12 th – 11:00 pm
July 14th – 1:45 pm


Individual Fringe tickets are available at the door for $10 ($5 for FringeKids), cash only. Late comers will not be permitted.
Advance tickets are $11 ($9 + $2 service charge) are available online at, by phone at 416-966-1062 ext 1,  or in person during the festival at the Festival Box Office in the parking lot behind Honest Ed’s (581 Bloor St W).
Value packs are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows.

Photo credits: Good Women Dance Collective’s Alida Nyquist- Schultz and Ainsley Hillyard