GUNSHOT (ReActive Dance Theatre) 2014 Toronto Fringe Review


I never thought I would review a dance show. I’m the type of guy who indulges in the musical contributions of AC/DC and appreciates a well timed fart joke. But this afternoon I watched GUNSHOT (ReActive Dance Theatre) which is currently playing as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival. I learned two things from watching this show: 1. I’m extremely out of shape and 2. Dance Theatre is much more captivating than I thought.

Directed and choreographed by Ryerson grads Amanda Pye and Rhanda Jones, GUNSHOT features a company of eight talented dancers who engage in a series of tightly executed sequences. It was impressive to see the company work together in unison, sometimes at a breakneck pace. That being said, there is a lot happening to keep your attention.

Reading the synopsis beforehand, I had no idea what I was about to watch. The most identifiable theme to me was fear, and finding the courage to follow it. And while some sequences had a clear narrative, others were a little more abstract. My favourite scene happened quite early in the show and involved a firing squad with results that will please fans who have a taste for black comedy.

As far as the 60-minute runtime goes, I think the show could benefit by shaving off a few minutes. Given its sparse dialogue, it felt just a bit too long. As with any dance show, GUNSHOT certainly won’t appeal to all tastes. But fans of physical theatre will enjoy themselves. And others, like myself, may be surprised at what they find.


GUNSHOT is playing at the Randolph Theatre (736 Bathurst Street).

Show times
July 5 9:15pm
July 6 7:00pm
July 9 5:15pm
July 10 3:30pm
July 11 11:00pm
July 12 2:15pm

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.

LATECOMERS ARE NEVER ADMITTED TO FRINGE SHOWS. To avoid disappointment, be sure to arrive a few minutes before curtain.

Photo of Bretonie Burchell, Talia Quilliam, Rodney Diverlus, Jessie Garon, and Steven Smith by Rhanda Jones.