I will begin this review with a disclaimer: I am not as much a dance aficionado as I am focused on theatre but I am thrilled that there are so many wonderfully strong dance-based performances as part of the Atlantic Fringe Festival this year. It has been wonderful having the opportunity to immerse myself in a difference performance discipline and to get to see artists, both local and from elsewhere in the country, who are doing some really interesting and innovative work that I have never seen before.
Random Acts of Dance comes to us from Toronto with its show Terra Firma choreographed by Liisa Smith. It is comprised of a Prologue and two Solo Pieces performed by Smith and Julie Grant. All three are quite esoteric, especially the Prologue which uses far more constricted movement but suggests something dark and anguishing.
The two solo pieces are more obviously connected to their vivid soundscapes, although it becomes just as interesting to watch how Smith and Grant move during the moments of silence as well. Liisa Smith is particularly mesmerizing to watch, her eyes capture so much of the emotion of her dance that even if you are not sure what story is being told, she is so intensely captivating that she pulls you in.
I loved the contrast in this piece between jerky and fluid movements and the tension that is created by the use of more angular movement in the body. I was a little caught off guard at the sudden use of speech at the end of Smith’s dance and wondered if it would have been more effective to begin speaking to us earlier or if more could be made of this sudden revelation.
Terra Firma is a very visually interesting piece and one that I am sure you could go back to again and again and see different things each time.
Terra Firma plays at DanSpace (1531 Grafton Street) at the following times:
Saturday September 8th at 1:30pm and 6:50
Sunday September 9th at 6:00pm
It is $10.00; to book tickets please visit this website or call (902) 999-7469 or visit the Box Office at the Seaport Farmers’ Market at Pavilion 20 on Marginal Road. Tickets are also available at the venue A HALF HOUR before the show. Happy Fringe!