I went to a dance performance that was part of the Fringe Festival at 7 Stages this afternoon. It seems that there is a dance company that was formed for the festival a few years ago and I guess that I didn’t pay enough attention to notice. Anyway, now that 7 Stages is an easy mile walk from my place and I didn’t have anything planned for this afternoon, I figured that I’d check them out.
They do mostly contemporary classical ballet set to popular music of a sort that I don’t really like but don’t really mind. There’s nothing particularly exciting about the choreography — it was full of clichés and occasionally interpreted the music a bit too literally — but it wasn’t bad by any means. It did, however, suit the performers well and the performers themselves were genuinely decent and also worked very well together. I also appreciate having some ballet to watch ITP; there really isn’t enough of it going on here. I’d happily trade some of our semi-pro modern dance companies for a few more semi-pro ballet companies — not so much because I dislike modern dance as I really like ballet and, if I’m honest, given two companies of equal skill and culture, I’d prefer to watch a ballet company over a modern company.
Taken individually, there isn’t much to say about the 9 pieces that made up the show. Taken as a whole, though, the show was enjoyable. The title of the concert was “Facets of Love” and each piece explored some aspect of the emotion. The pieces were in an order that flowed very well: from lighter fare to more depressing subject matter and then back up again to a positive conclusion. I often complain that the local dance scene fails to connect individual pieces that make up an evening’s dance concert and I think that the fact that they used a common subject matter to thread the pieces together in this case made the concert much more enjoyable. I feel that organizing a concert around a central theme allows the strengths of each piece to bolster the pieces that follow and also lets the audience think about each piece in more depth because it can be compared and contrasted to the others in the concert that much easier.
A really nice feature of the concert was the guy who was sitting next to me. He brought in a bottle of wine and actually went out to get a third cup to give to me so that he could give me a nice little buzz with which to enjoy the show. I have to admit that, being such a lightweight, the second cup that he gave me during a musical interlude featuring a gentleman with a guitar playing some kind of folk-influenced rock made me just tipsy enough to love each and every dancer on the stage. More shows should have a guy like that in the audience.