The Tempest Replica Performed by Kidd Pivot

Choreography by Crystal Pite

 

Theatre Junction Grand, October 17 – 20, 8:00PM

Post-show artist talk back on Friday, October 19

 

Length: 80 minutes with no intermission

 

Hell is Empty and the Devils are all Here, which is good news for us. The Devils are here and lead us through the story of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Rest assured there is no need to read the play first.

Dressed in white origami costumes, the characters run through the highlights of the story, exploiting the comedy and tragedy of the story. It all unfolds clearly using movement, voice, and video projection. Because the characters are faceless and featureless, we are able to create the depths of each character in our own imaginations, adding nuances of personality to the stylized movement of the first section of the evening.

In the second half of the show, we return to the beginning of the story, this time exemplifying the individual, delving deep into each character’s psyche. We are drawn in further as the white origami costumes are replaced with real clothing and the faceless characters become more human, more obtainable to us. Pite’s choreography never ceases to flow seamlessly and she has created a show with this strength.

Perhaps the best example of Pite’s artistry is the duet between the two young lovers, Miranda and Ferdinand. Here the feminine and masculine are respected by the emotional connection of the lovers. But the sexes are made equals as Miranda lifts Ferdinand over her shoulder, only to be carried herself in the next instant. Their intertwining dance gives the impression that they are both elevated above the stage together, a groundbreaking and gorgeous physical demonstration of their deep, committed love for each other.

Many of the performers and designers have a long history of working with Pite. The maturity of the performance is easy recognized and appreciated as the dancers execute with precision. This is a solid show with not a movement out of place. (Twice, a word is projected onto a performer and both times the performer perfectly hit their mark.) We are witness to a remarkable piece of theatre for the 21st century, accessible to those of us who didn’t pay attention to Shakespeare in high school, and which showcases some of Canada’s finest talent.

 

Paul Chambers

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