Fringe Festival Reviews # 8: Naked Ugly Dancing, Jellyfish Are Immortal

Sydney Hayduk. Peachy Keen Productions. Jellyfish Are Immortal. Photo Andrea Boychuck Photography Sydney Hayduk. Peachy Keen Productions. Jellyfish Are Immortal. Photo Andrea Boychuck Photography

Naked Ugly Dancing

There is really something to be said for truth in advertising, and The Human Body Project’s Naked Ugly Dancing really tells it all in the title. This is a 75-minute piece in which Tasha Diamant dances, completely naked except for shoes, in whatever way she feels in the moment. As she dances, she discusses what she feels like discussing in the moment – her artistic process, her relationship with her body, and her family. Diamant has been doing this piece for the past 12 years, including what she calls Monthly Actions, where she goes outside, in various locations (but often the Parliament Buildings) around her hometown of Victoria and spends an hour there dancing naked. The process of this life-time endurance piece is one of the main things that Diamant touched upon when I saw the show, and how it has effected her life and those of her family. One of the most powerful parts of the show for me was Diamant’s conversations around how this process has changed, shaped, and helped heal her relationship with her body. This piece is very much a performance art piece, which encourages the audience to interact with the performer, have conversations, and even get up on stage with her and dance however they feel.

 

Jellyfish are Immortal

 Peachy Keen Production’s Jellyfish are Immortal is a well-crafted and beautifully executed one-woman “Theatrical Ted-Talk” which deals with themes of non-commercialized self-love, both trauma and Trauma, and learning to love our monsters. Sydney Hayduk wonderfully blends dance, dramatic representation and projections to create a captivating piece of theatre. Through out the piece Hayduk (in a giant squid costume) guides her marine-life audience as we move through an ocean of emotions – drawing connections between what is currently happening to the environment and the oceans to our own emotional well being. The themes and messages of the show have such a strong through line, and Hayduk really draws the audience in with her complete charm and wit – as well as heart breaking emotional connections with her own stories. Hayduk  is entirely right when she describes the show as an experience of  “going deep, but it’s going to be a party.”

 

Naked Ugly Dancing is at Montreal Improv A (3697 St Laurent) and Jellyfish Are Immortal is at the MAI (3680 Jeanne Mance) and continue through June 17 as part of the St. Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival. Find out all shows and info at montrealfringe.caMontreal Rampage coverage of the Fringe Festival includes reviews of GreasyDance Side of the MoonBuyer and CellarLuckyDon’t Read the Comments,Crime After Crime (After Crime)Is that How Clowns Have Sex?, SCUM FM and Rootless Tree.

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