An Ode To Dyads (Fishbowl Collective) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review

ode to dyads

An Ode To Dyads is a compact dance theatre piece performed by Hannah Kaya and Connor Spencer at Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace at the 2014 Toronto Fringe Festival. The performance explores the dyadic relationship between two beings in a strange world where the passage of time and emotional shifts are dictated by a single ring of a kitchen timer. This is a world with its own specific logic that may not make sense immediately to the audience but is very clear for the onstage duo.

In my short history of reviewing theatre, I have never wanted a show to be longer more than this one. In thirty minutes, both dancers communicate the monotony of life, the passage of time, the awful discomfort of being in your own skin, the joy and struggle of togetherness and the devastation of existing without your other. I am under the impression that this is a work in progress and I am very excited at the prospect of this being a full-length, sixty-minute show.

The choreography is coherent and accessible. Both dancers incorporate wooden chairs and their parallel movements align perfectly with the theme of the show. Interspersed between their silent pieces are darkly comic ones set to schmaltzy AM radio classics from the 1960s. I am generally not a fan of hair choreography, but these two make it work well; their hair is as agile and graceful as they are.

I am very impressed with how connected the dancers are to each other and to the audience. Given the description in the show programme, I was worried the performance would be opaque and that I would not have an appropriate dance schema to comprehend it. The opposite is true. Fishbowl Collective is very generous to its audience, which is great news for those among us who find dance theatre to be daunting.

It is impressive and inspiring to see young people creating evocative and satisfying work. Fishbowl Collective is definitely a group to watch out for.


An Ode To Dyads plays at the Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace. (16 Ryerson Ave.)

Show times
July 04 at 05:45 PM
July 05 at 08:00 PM
July 06 at 01:45 PM
July 07 at 03:00 PM
July 10 at 04:00 PM
July 11 at 11:30 PM
July 12 at 05:45 PM

Tickets for all mainstage productions are $10 at the door, cash only. Advance tickets are $12, and can be purchased online by phone (416-966-1062), or from the festival box office at the Fringe Club. (Rear of Honest Ed’s, 581 Bloor St. West). Money-saving value packs are also available if you are going to at least five shows; see website  for details.

 To avoid disappointment, be sure to arrive a few minutes before curtain.

Photo of Hannah Kaya and Connor Spencer provided by Fishbowl Collective