Mar 31

Corps Bara Dance Theatre examines the influence of messaging through movement

by Jenna Shummoogum · 0 comments

Post image for Corps Bara Dance Theatre examines the influence of messaging through movement

The world that surround us is full of messages. Marketing and advertising, telling us who to be, what to wear, how to think. It’s this bombardment that is examined in Corps Bara Dance Theatre’s Harmful [if swallowed]. Blending dance and spoken word with a couple pink tennis balls or two, Corps Bara explores the effects of messaging and sales, and what happens if we keep them too close to heart.

The performance opens with a red tennis ball in a spotlight. It’s a source of intrigue as dancer Erin O’Loughlin figures out how to approach it. Her movements are cautious, but interested and this is the introduction to those advertisements that we see daily.

The next piece features all six dancers, choreography by Alessandra Enns, entitled Knit Within. It is rhythmic and gets wild as it progresses, while remaining contemporary. The dance is highlighted in a square of light and the dancers are full within their bodies. This piece embodies a ‘just do it’ attitude that is fun to watch.

Following this, is a piece entitled Unravelled, choreographed by O’Loughlin. It features duets  in the same box of light to piano music. The choreography is timed to the overall melody, as opposed to individual notes. The piece conjures interesting images and the finale is of note in this piece, bringing the movement to a climax.

O’Loughlin comes out for her next solo, with the pink tennis ball. There is no music so the focus is purely on the movements and the intrigue of the tennis ball. This is the first time that spoken word melts with movement. O’Loughlin talks about a salesperson and how his job is ‘not to make them drink, it’s to make them thirsty’.

The three pieces are most compelling of the evening, where the spoken word becomes integrated into the pieces. At some point, all the dancers have O’Loughlin in a lift and the sound design has a phone ringing. They move around the stage, ‘answering the phone’ illustrating how tied to technology we are. There is also a sequence where the dancers have tennis balls as phones and are driven to keep up with the messages flashing for their attention. Nicole Charlton shines in this sequence, her voice getting more and more shrill and frantic. ‘That sounds doable, I can do all of that.’

Harmful [if swallowed] is a playful and fun look at our interaction with marketing, advertising and technology. It’s a smart use of movement to examine that relationship.

Harmful [if swallowed] has its last performance tonight. Tickets are available online or at the door.

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