School of Contemporary Dancers (Venue 24), to Sunday
Elizabeth Smart, Canadian author of the 1945 classic By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept, loved British poet George Barker with all-consuming passion that made her a social outcast. The womanizing Barker was married, but Smart bore four of his children without regret, always believing their love was real and true.
In Bash on Regardless, choreographer Brent Lott, artistic director of Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers, captures Smart’s outsider spirit, erotic ardour, pain, jealousy and idealism in an extraordinary, heart-stopping fusion of movement and text. The latter is exquisitely penned by Manitoba poet Jaik Josephson and delivered by the dancers, who prove themselves compelling actors. Each of five female dancers portrays facets of Smart.
The six-dancer, 75-minute work is a preliminary version of next season’s 97 Positions of the Heart, which is to have a commissioned score, set, costumes and (probably ill-advised) video. It’s already the best, most moving piece Lott has ever done. Please, WCD, don’t mess it up. Only the opening scene could perhaps be clarified.
One artist’s story resonates here as a universal one about bashing on and being true to oneself, in spite of losing a great love. Don’t miss it.
— Alison Mayes
From the official Fringe Festival program:
Chronicling the passionate and often turbulent world of Canadian writer Elizabeth Smart, Bash On Regardless is a dance/theatre production of staggering beauty. Staring down the punishing expectations for women in the first half of the last century, Elizabeth side-stepped convention to demand a place in the adventure. This bohemian unwed mother of four, devoured life unbridled, without apology.
Recommended For: Mature Audience
Length: 75 MIN
Discount Tickets: $8 Students, Seniors
Warnings: Subject Matter, Language