REVIEW: Aerial Allusions @ Ottawa Fringe 2012

Aerial Allusions is s story of life, love, and what it’s all about - told largely through dance. Should you see it?

Aerial Allusions is a movement and dance piece with a few monologues and dialogues slapped it. It focuses on the theme of gender roles. Or rather, I think that’s what it means. It follows a couple who start in traditional dress and over the course of the play they switch to a costume that is more tattered, colourful and cobbled together.

First off, the show has good choreography and the two leads do interact well together. As I mentioned, the performance has some monologues and dialogues, but these are far and away the weakest aspects of the show. For one thing, the opening monologue seems to have very little in common with the rest of the show. But even when it was related, the reading was wooden slightly uninteresting. This leads in to my overall gripe with the show, in that it felt like there was no context for what was happening. For example, why are the characters changing their clothes? Is that supposed to represent something?

Throughout the show, I saw glimpses of what Aerial Allusions could have been and maybe even what they were trying to do, but all in all, it’s a show that comes up short. The dancing was good, but even with that, I can only give it a two.

Allan’s Followup:

I really enjoyed a lot of the dance in Aerial Allusion, especially that of Azana Watrous. One number early in the show, a cabaret-style strip tease, may be one of the hottest things at Fringe this year. Plus, the ladder work in other numbers was very cool and something you won’t see anywhere else. More of that, please.

Where the play fell apart was in its acting and narrative. Watrous and her partner in the show, Jason Morneau, aren’t actors and it shows. While the content isn’t bad, and may have worked in other hands, there’s no real passion or life behind their monologues, although the dialogues are a bit better. Partly because of this, the narrative isn’t really there. It’s a story of different types of relationships, which comes across best in the dance numbers - where, I’ll add, both Watrous and Morneau are highly expressive and believably in character.

The show also feels like it starts to lose steam after a while, which might be why the last number of the show is a strip-off between the two that ended with Watrous topless and panty-clad and Morneau in his briefs. So yes, nudity in this one (and simulated violence), and not for kids. While this is hands down one of the sexiest shows at Fringe this year, I’m hard-pressed to go more than a high-two.

- by Allan Mackey

Kurt Shantz

About Kurt Shantz

Kurt Shantz is a Theatre and Scriptwriting graduate and an occasional Should You See It reviewer. He currently works as a warehouse clerk, but has big aspirations of someday achieving his dream of becoming a senior warehouse clerk. He's also been known to write on occasion.

Links to this article.

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