Dance is an illusion. It changes gravity and turns air into water. Bodies float and twist in the wind. In Kojira, a series of three short works by the random acts of dance company now playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival, these otherworldly possibilities are used to reveal the familiar truths of human experience.
The first piece, titled “Patterns in the Ivy” and choreographed by company co-founder Liisa Smith, draws together four dancers as a single creature, like a many-limbed animal. Their legs and arms describe delicate patterns in the air, curving and snapping like ribbons. Wearing shredded wedding dresses, they seem neglected, like the beauty of nature: stunning, yet easily forgotten.
The following two pieces are choreographed by Julie Grant, the company’s other co-founder. “Tempered,” a solo that she dances herself, takes a more narrative tone. A woman is gripped in a struggle between wildness and self-control. She flips between the two, until she learns to breathe with the tension, at which point she discovers that the reverse is true—some vastness is breathing her.
The final piece, “Kite Walk,” is the most satisfying. Once again, Grant explores precariousness, not of an individual experiencing her duality, but of a group experiencing its separateness. Four dancers search for coherence with each other, but it’s never quite what they expect. Even so, Grant’s choreography is strikingly confident, and the four performers are extremely well-balanced.
Kojira is a subtle show. It doesn’t clamour for attention, like so much else at this festival. Rather, it is full of deep feelings and strong intuitions that have been worked carefully upon the body. The magic that it makes isn’t fake; it’s the human kind.
- Kojira plays until July 12 at the Randolph Theatre. (736 Bathurst St.)
- Tickets are $12 in advance, $10 at the door. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by phone (416-966-1062), from the festival box office down Honest Ed’s Alley (581 Bloor West), or from the venue box office starting one hour before the peformance. Venue sales are cash-only.
- Be advised that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and latecomers are never admitted. Set your watch to CBC time, and arrive a few minutes early to avoid disappointment.
- [Supplementary Notes]
July 04 at 05:15 PM
July 07 at 09:00 PM
July 08 at 12:00 PM
July 09 at 11:00 PM
July 11 at 05:45 PM
July 12 at 05:15 PM
Photo of Julie Grant in rad 60×60 (2010) by Marvin Kwan.