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

Rope of Sand

Local theatre company Working Class Theatre brings their first Fringe show out this year. Rope of Sand, now in it’s 5th revision, the play tells the story of Tracey Stoddard and “the age old question of financial security versus following your heart.” The play has been staged a few times here in Victoria, but creators Tristan Bacon and Alyssa Kostello are bringing this tragic comedy to the Downtown Activity Centre.

Rope of Sand

Rope of Sand begins Thursday, August 21st at 9:30pm.

Animal Love

Annette Roman is a seasoned Fringe performer. Her previous show, Hitler’s Lil Abomination has toured 7 Fringe Festivals across the country. She is back with her new show Animal Love, a bittersweet tale of love and loss, of the relationship with pets and family. Although surrounded by a the heavier topic of loss, the show has a lot of humour and humanity that made it a must see show at the Winnipeg Fringe. 

Animal Love

Animal Love kicks off Friday, August 22nd at Wood Hall.

 

Fringe 2014!

Victoria Fringe Festival

The 2014 Victoria Fringe Festival kicks off this week with over 50 performances of live comedy, dance, spoken word, magic, and more. The Fringe Block Party will get everyone going this Wednesday at Centennial square and includes previews of many of the shows.

I am excited to be a part of Fringe again this year with Robyn and CFUV. You can check back here for interviews with artists, reviews, and more fun stuff as the festival gets started.

I have had the chance to speak with some of the performers so far and am very excited for what the festival has to offer this year. Sarah and Oscar, by Windwhistle Theatre from northern California, tells the story of Irish writer Oscar Wilde and his friendship with French actress Sarah Bernhardt. As two of the most famous people in the late 19th century, Wilde and Bernhardt were also friends and collaborators. Mark Lyon and Marion Jeffery took on these characters to bring audiences the story of their intertwined lives, struggles, and triumphs. Mark and Marion visited me in the CFUV studio this weekend to chat about their experience with these characters. Listen below!

Sarah and Oscar kicks off this Thursday at the Victoria Event Centre. For full venue and ticket information, visit the Victoria Fringe website.

Stay tuned for more as the excitement of Fringe begins!

Until next time,
Phoenix