The best way for me to describe my experience in watching DABDA is by comparing it to watching a powerful choreographed contemporary dance routine by legends such as Mia Michaels or Sonya Tayeh from the show So You Think You Can Dance. The routines tend to be so captivating that by the end of the routine I catch myself taking a deep breath and tapping into emotions I didn’t even know I had. DABDA did exactly that for me and more.
Generally, I can be fidgety in theatres after sitting down for a long period of time, but not in this show. This Fringe Festival dance drama, choreographed by the outstanding choreographers Alvin Collantes and Hayley Paone, had me sitting still for the entire fifty-five minutes! The only time I did move from my cozy seat at the cool Factory Theatre was right at the end during the well deserved standing ovation.
I think one of the dancers knew who I was. She pointed at me in the middle of a dance sequence and smirked. I looked at her and smiled. She caught me. She must have known that I was into her every move as she leaped across the stage effortlessly connecting both with her movements and the audience.
The dancers were phenomenal. What stood out to me was their ability to emote and tell a story. The transitions were also seamless. There was an intention behind every movement. Whether it was falling onto the stage or into the arms of the other dancers, they gave it their all and committed to each step. I especially loved when the dancers commanded attention as they would stomp their feet loudly and passionately on the stage. Great choreographic choice.
Now you don’t need to be a dancer or a dance fan to watch this. This show is unique in that it tells a story from beginning to end and each dance piece takes you on a journey. The music and background radio commentary is also complementary to the dynamic choreography. If further explanation is needed, the choreographers/artistic directors have given great notes and character descriptions that you can follow in the program.
Factory Theatre is one of my favourite theatres in the city. It is one of the theatres I have performed at in the past and it holds a lot of great memories. It is also a great venue for the large cast of eleven energetic powerful performers in DABDA.
This riveting, beautiful dance drama should not be missed. This is one of those electrifying shows where you could watch it over and over again and not get bored. I do believe I’ll be going back for a second visit to see DABDA!
Sun July 7 – 8:45pm
Tue July 9 – 1:15pm
Wed July 10 – 12:00pm
Fri July 12 – 11:00pm
Sun July 14 – 3:30pm
- At-the-door tickets: $10
- At-the-door tickets are available at the Factory Theatre Mainspace starting one hour prior to show time – cash sales only.
- Advance tickets: $11
- Advance tickets go on sale June 15, 2013
- Purchase online: fringetoronto.com
- By Phone: 416-966-1062, ext 1
- In Person: During the Festival Box Office in the parking lot behind Honest Ed’s (581 Bloor St W)
Photo of Amanda Donato by Alvin Collantes