Stir comes to the Atlantic Fringe Festival from Live Art Dance Productions and The Room from Halifax and Montreal respectively. When I went the Park Place Theatre was absolutely packed and it was incredible to see such a different and exuberant audience that one does not always see as part of the Festival. I hope that they all were planning on checking out a wide myriad of shows as well!
From the description in the Fringe Guide Stir is the culmination of what happens when “you take 3 choreographers, 3 composers and a bunch of dancers and put them in a blender with a bit of creative juice.” The dancers’ names were drawn by the choreographers from a hat and they each had 24 hours to come up with brave new works to be performed the next evening. The result was amazing.
The three pieces were unlike any dance piece I had ever seen before, using an amazing mixture of multimedia and innovative sound designs to inform the dance. The first piece saw a dancer dueling with a guitar, her profile projected on a large white screen like the negative of a photograph. She danced beautifully and her eyes and her expression were impossible to look away from.
The second piece explored the idea of what would happen if a dance took place almost entirely in darkness? What can the audience see of the dancers if they are only given a small blanket of light and if this light moves and is diminished as they move? The music was performed onstage and consisted of an entire band worth of interesting and peculiar instruments and noise makers, which gave the piece a unique mixture of sound to work with. This piece was particularly strong of the three and had some visually haunting moments.
My favourite aspect of the third piece was the cello being played in every way except what one might expect and the interaction between the cello and the girls dancing. This piece was also extremely impressive in its use of IPads and IPhones connected to one another and recording video from across the stage. In one particularly amazing moment the IPads became masks for two of the dancers, and even though the images being projected on the screen where vivid close ups of the cello, I saw the face of a monster in them and it was magical.
At the beginning of Stir we were given an introduction where we were asked “Have you ever been here before?” and I can definitely say that I had not, but it is a place that I would not mind revisiting again.
Stir has closed, but The Atlantic Fringe Festival plays until Sunday September 9th. For more information about other shows that are playing this weekend, please visit this website.