The first thing I noticed when I entered the The Theatre Centre to watch Ramble by Aimée Dawn Robinson at the 2015 SummerWorks Festival, was how gorgeous the space was. It’s a beautiful, spacious, comfortable, well ventilated venue.
There was music playing that had me transported. The opening sequence and live-mixed projections by Renée Lear put me in a meditative state, which made me wonder if that was intentional. I was curious if it was meant to set us up for what we were about to watch, both mentally and physically. I definitely felt myself relaxing into my surroundings.
As soon as Robinson entered the space, I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. Her movements were so ethereal and full of power and emotion. Coupled with the evocative projections and live music, she really grabbed me and pulled me in. I even found myself being soothed by the jangle of her skirt. There wasn’t a single sound or lighting cue that didn’t add to the overall effect of the performance.
I had moments of feeling like I wasn’t sure what I was watching, or if there was a message within the dance. When I finally allowed myself to just settle in and watch and experience what was in front of me, I quickly realized that I didn’t have to force the answers. Robinson was moving me on a subconscious level and after scanning the audience, I noticed everyone was as captivated as I was. There was a stillness and silence in the room; you could hear a pin drop.
The live music, digital sounds, vocalizations and chanting provided by the vastly talented K Scott Maynard were hauntingly beautiful. They set the tone of each scene. There were times where we were left alone with a bare stage and a cascade of Maynard’s soundscapes. Again, I fought my judgements of “what could this mean” and realized it was more a feeling, less an intellectualized experience.
If you’ve never seen a dance piece, go to this one. It’s so uniquely different, I guarantee you’ll have plenty to talk about afterwards. Go for the music. Go for the dance. Go because you want something different that challenges the way you usually see theatre. It’s a feast for all the senses and should not be missed,
Remaining Show Times:
- Friday, August 7th 7:30PM
- Saturday, August 8th 9:45PM
- Monday, August 10th 4:00PM
- Tuesday, August 11th 9:30PM
- Friday, August 14th 7:15PM
- Saturday, August 15th 4:00PM
Individual SummerWorks tickets are $15 at the door (cash only). Live Art Series tickets are free
$20. Tickets are available online at www.summerworks.ca, by phone at 888-328-8384, Monday – Friday 8:30am-5pm, in person at the SummerWorks Central Box Office – located at Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst St). Open August 4-16 from 10am-7pm (Advance tickets are $15 + service fee)
Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 3 shows
Photo of Aimée Dawn Robinson by Renée Lear