I love dance. So I was very excited to see Point of View Dance Project’s Wireless Connection at the Toronto Fringe Festival. I was not disappointed. Choreographers Kylie Thompson and Amy Adams have created a piece that comments on the need for connection in a digital world.
The piece opens with a cell phone ringing. Soon the air is filled with a mash up of different ringtones. The stage is filled with dancers staring at their screens. The darkened space is illuminated solely by the glare from their devices. This is used often throughout the piece, and it creates a mood of isolation by placing each dancer in their own small circle of bluish light.
In the background is a screen with kaleidoscopic images and black and white text, which are constantly moving and changing. This could have been distracting, but I found it contributed to the frenetic atmosphere and matched well with the movement on stage.
Wireless Connection features a blend of modern, hip hop, and jazz dance styles. Similarly, the music is a fusion of contemporary sound, most with a strong percussive beat. Although I didn’t recognize any of the specific pieces in the soundtrack, it felt familiar.
The movement is fast-paced, dynamic, and fresh. I thought the show was really well danced. Each of the eight dancers, 6 women and 2 men, was excellent. They exhibited strong technique, both partnering and executing lifts flawlessly; the energy never flagged over the course of the 50-minute performance.
The dancers swirl around each other, constantly crossing paths but rarely interacting directly. Whenever they have a phone in their hands, they fail to connect. The mood is slightly troubled and dark. In one vignette, a dancer has to force the phones out of her partners’ hands before they will even acknowledge her.
My favourite section, however, featured all eight dancers moving buoyantly together, switching partners in a sort of funky square dance. They are smiling and clearly enjoying each other. Fittingly, they have no phones.
Dance can be hard, especially when there is no story. Often you sit there wondering what it all means. While Wireless Connection does not have a narrative, it definitely has something to say. If you’re a dance lover, I’d recommend it.
- Wireless Connection plays at the Al Green Theatre. (750 Spadina Ave)
- Tickets are $12 at the door and in advance, and can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Fringe Club at Honest Ed’s Alley, and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- This venue is wheelchair-accessible. Use the elevator at the Spadina entrance.
- Friday July 1st, 01:15 pm
- Saturday July 2nd, 05:15 pm
- Sunday July 3rd, 03:15 pm
- Monday July 4th, 08:30 pm
- Wednesday July 6th, 08:45 pm
- Thursday July 7th, 07:30 pm
- Saturday July 9th, 05:45 pm
Photo of Point of View Dance Project provided by the company