I often describe the FRINGE as a festival of theatre, dance, and what the junk did I just see on stage? Dance Side of the Moon is a piece that fits into all three of those categories. Maxine Segalowitz tackles this 43-minute solo dance piece with so much energy, strength, and intensity that makes the piece absolutely breathtaking. Helen Simard’s choreography wonderfully blends her dancer’s body to this epic conceptual album, the space, and the projections.
Freestanding Room is a small studio, and the audience was seated in a semi circle around the performance space, greeted by small notes about what their experience might be like if they sit on that particular chair: “If you sit here, you should be okay,” “If you sit here, your chair is uncomfortable.” As the show began, projections around the room moved from full green trees, through bursts of light, and something that looked very much like the moon. The space was utilized to its full potential with Segalowitz climbing on to the sink feature, suspending herself on two very small pieces of pipe jutting out from the wall, and even having lowering herself from the radiator over the course of what feels like a full minute with so much control, and tension that you can’t help but be enthralled.
The use of Kim-San Châu’s projections and light throughout the piece was beautifully executed and move the dance outside of just the body of the performer, into the space as a whole. There were some absolutely beautiful moments where Simard crawls around on the floor with a flashlight, in order to make Segalowitz into a larger than life shadow puppet of herself that encapsulates the space.
If you don’t enjoy contemporary dance, or watching people roll around on the floor being impressive with their muscles, maybe this isn’t the show for you. However, even if you are not a Pink Floyd connoisseur or fan (as I myself am not), if you have the smallest affinity for contemporary dance, you are going to enjoy this show as even in her stillness, Segalowitz is captivating.
Dance Side of the Moon continues at Espace Freestanding now through June 17 as part of the St. Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival. For tickets, click HERE. Find out all shows and info at montrealfringe.ca. Montreal Rampage coverage of the Fringe Festival includes reviews of Greasy, and Rootless Tree.