Fringe – London Ontario’s Annual Theatre Festival (Canada)

Posted on the Festival’s Forum; Friday 5 August 2005

Intense Performance

The title of this show promises something in between theatre and dance, between convention and the unusual. It actually delivers something between understanding and experience.

This is a riveting show, starting with a long period in which absolutely nothing happens. Perhaps four lines are uttered through the entire show, and the movements of the dancers/actors are deliberate, slow and precisely controlled. It sounds desperately boring for a 60-minute production, but it never is. In fact, any part that might have become boring simply turns into an opportunity for the mind to wander — to mundane concerns or creative thoughts inspired by the show. Wandering minds are a kiss of death to most theatre, but here it’s a tangible part of the experience.

And experience is primarily what this show offers. An eerie, entrancing soundscape permeates the entire performance, and some innovative and even aggressive lighting adds a surreal sense to the theatre. The dancers are very capable and certainly innovative — it’s readily apparent that large portions of this show were crafted upon their introduction to the Spriet theatre. Some moments are punishing — both to the performers and the audience — but those moments still remain captivating despite the trauma. It’s entirely possible to project a story on what you’ll see… or to forget about story and focus on the emotions and sensations the production conjures, namely mystery, suspense and wonder.

One of my first thoughts about Something In Between is that it’s not meant to be understood, but I soon realized that wasn’t right. It is understandable — and in a different way — to everyone who sees it. It just might not be explainable. Either way, it’s definitely worth a shot.