Winnipeg’s latest contemporary dance troupe serves up a visceral solo performed and choreographed by its newly minted artistic director, Alexandra Elliott.
The School of Contemporary Dancers graduate digs deeps into her 10-year history of serving drunken boors and rude patrons in restaurants for an autobiographical show that begins by Elliott first constructing an inventive sculptural set out of chairs. She then proceeds to deconstruct her past experiences with spoken word and movement vocabulary, including percussive strikes on her own body, floor rolls, distorted hops and suspended reaching of her limbs.
She’s not afraid to go for it, making her body and face increasingly grotesque. When she finally pushes her own torso through one of the chairs, it becomes her own prison. Sight lines in the non-wheelchair-accessible venue remain challenging, with the soloist sometimes missing in action when she moves to the floor.
Elliott is wise not to gild the lily. At 30 minutes, this may be one of the shortest fringe shows — but you don’t mind. In this case, she leaves her viewers hungry for more.
— Holly Harris