Seven & Vasilisa

The Fringe kicked off with a bang last night bringing out 20 shows to Victoria. I stayed at Metro Studio for the evening for the opening performances of Seven and Vasilisa.

Seven

Seven is the new show from Broken Rhythms Victoria, a rhythmic contemporary dance troupe here in town. They have blown away audiences for the last two years with their Pick of the Fringe winning shows Spark and Grimm. Each year, the group takes on a new theme to tell a story through dance. This year, choreographer Dyana Sonik-Henderson chose the seven stages of grief. In the past, I’ve always felt that Broken Rhythms did a great job of creating dance shows that were accessible to audiences who may not be familiar with the genre. By the end of the show this year, I felt they brought that same energy back to the stage. The four dancers that make up the show are by far the highlight this year. Their strength, emotion, and stamina were something to be reckoned with even with the dark tone of the material. Taking on the seven stages of grief through dance is a challenge because there is no specific story one can tell, but as an audience member, I found myself filling in the gaps with my own personal experience. Seven is a perfect example of the stunning local talent Victoria has to offer and is perfect for anyone looking to try something new at this year’s Fringe.

I caught up with Dyana after the performance to talk about Seven and her inspiration this year.

Vasilisa

I finished off the evening with Vasilisa. What stays with me after the show is the complexity of the stage and how the five cast members executed their performance. The entire show is shown from behind a sort of see-through sheet using shadows, movement, and various projections. The set-up was what drew me in immediately, as I spent most of the show thinking about its intricacies and how challenging it must have been to put the show together. The story of Vasilisa is narrated by two musicians on the side of the stage while providing musical accompaniment. The way the story was told through the narration was clever and the music fit the mood perfectly. Overall, although the body of the play was wonderfully crafted, the skeleton of the play, that is the story, left something to be desired. Although an interesting concept and constructed like a fairy tale (think Cinderella meets Snow White), the story had holes and was often difficult to follow. Overall,Vasilisa is something you’ve never seen before and is a cool visual experience.

Tonight, I am very excited to begin my night at the Victoria Event Centre for the opening night of Improv Club: An Improvised Chuck Palahniuk with Dave Morris. Dave was featured on Basement Closet Sessions earlier today on CFUV with some live radio improv, and I’m excited to see what he brings to the stage tonight. Afterwords, I am going to check out Rope of Sand at the Downtown Activity Centre. In case you missed it, you can listen to my interview with the cast of Rope of Sand and 4 other interviews from Robyn and I on my program Fundamental Frequency below:

Until next time,
Phoenix

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