The first half of the one hour performance had various lightbulbs strewn across the stage to form a large circle. From the first second the single light bulb lit up I knew I was in for a immersive theatre experience.
RElapse, the first show, showcased the talents of Irvin Chow and Jesse Dell, a couple trapped in an emotionally and physically abusive relationship. At one moment Chow and Dell would be tenderly embracing, and in the next violently throwing each other to the floor. Evans brilliantly captured the equal partnership in their dynamic–both were vulnerable and powerful.
At times it was difficult to watch the violence each person was inflicting, but the movement portrayed the couple’s relationship realistically, making me feel deeply sympathetic for the inescapable, cyclical nature of this hurtful partnership. There were only 3 instances of dialogue, which I thought were unnecessary. Evans did all the vital character work with the movement, which was enough to fully portray the meaning she was searching for in this relationship. The dialogue slowed down the fluidity of the piece.
The second show, RANKED, featured six dancers, exploring the daily struggles that those disenfranchised by race and gender experience on a day-to-day basis. The piece delved into power dynamics, asking the question; who has power and privilege in society?
Evan’s demanded a high level of commitment and strength from her dancers and they delivered a powerful, gripping, suspenseful performance. The performers pushed the physicality of dance to its limits, showcasing the athleticism and full potential of the human body.
At various moments the dancers were climbing, pushing, supporting and lifting each other, constantly challenging one another to reach the top of the social hierarchy. At one moment, the dancers faced the audience in a straight line, and Jasmyne Fyffe slowly began to climb and walk across each of their backs. This was just one instance where I held my breath waiting to see if the dancers could push their bodies’ boundaries even further.
Evans is an emerging interdisciplinary artist focusing on important and relevant cultural issues. If this is the work she is producing at the beginning of her artistic journey then it will be exciting to witness what Evans will produce throughout the rest of her career.
Evans created an engaging performance through movement, which is a testament to her vision and the talent of the performers. I would highly recommend this piece of theatre which is excitedly exploring new terrain.
- Rated R is showing at the. Randolph Theatre. (736 Bathurst St.)
- Tickets are $12 in advance and $10 at the door and can be bought here or from the Fringe Club at Honest Ed’s Alley, and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never permitted.
- This venue is wheelchair accessible.
- The performances are accessible for non-English speakers.
- July 1st at 3:30 PM
- July 3rd at 8:45 PM
- July 4th at 12:45 PM
- July 6th at 5:45 PM
- July 7th at 3:30 PM
- July 8th at 11:00 PM
- July 10th at 7:00 PM
Photo of Jasmyn Fyffe, Kassi Scott, Kathia Wittenborn, Peter Kelly, Pulga Muchochoma, Mateo Torres by Aria Evans.