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Fringe Show Reviews

Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Off 88th Street Melange

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Fringe festivals and cryptic head-scratchers often go together like beer and tents. In this case, the bizarre mime/contemporary dance/stage combat show Off 88th Street bears virtually no resemblance to its program description.

Intended as an exploration of interpersonal connections between five technology-challenged strangers post-Hurricane Sandy (huh?), the work features Lisa Baran, Reanna Joseph, Aaron Stringer and Johanna Bundon in a series of disconnected solos and ensembles. Sightlines are, frankly, lousy in this brightly lit venue, so unless you’re in the first row, the dancers all but disappear when rolling about the stage.

Having said all this, if you’re able to divorce yourself from the idea of overall meaning, narrative, concept, theme or purpose, the dancing is often quite good, often athletic and performed with balletic grace. In fact, this show would have fared better simply as a program of abstract choreography.

Billed at 45 minutes long, the show clocks in at 35 minutes. But mercifully, that gives you another 10 minutes back in the beer tent. HH

 

— Holly Harris

From the Fringe program:

Director: Lia Zarrillo
Cast: Johanna Burdon, Reanna Joseph, Lisa Baran, Aaron Stringer, GeNie Baffoe

 

In the fall of 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit the US, leaving over 8.1 million people without power. In numerous cities, charging stations were set up at public places (bars, post offices, etc.) for citizens to charge their cell phones at 45-minute intervals.

Through contemporary dance, stage combat and mime, Off 88th Street explores the connections of five strangers in a technologically deficient situation. Examining how we deal with the most jarring experience there is: real human interaction.

 
Audience Classification: General
Length: 45 mins.
Tickets: $10

 

Warnings: None

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