The Soulocentric festival Showcase was described to feature quirky short works exploring urban alienation and post-apocalyptic worlds.
Thursday night’s showcase was to feature four performances: Jennifer Leblanc, Jeremy Verkley, Jed Tomlinson and Jessica Barrera. Unfortunately Leblanc was sick, so did not managed to perform her piece.
First up was Tomlinson with a clowning piece entitled ‘The Bus’. A homeless clown finds himself riding the bus in an effort to keep dry and safe from the rain. This is a short comedic piece about a clown who just wants to get some sleep without being in the rain. Tomlinson is funny in this quiet piece, asking the audience for bus fare, and bringing his blanket on the train. The sound design adds to the performance as the next stop is announced, while the clown is trying to sleep in various positions on the seats of the bus. There are some charming moments in this performance, like when the clown sings the theme song to Batman (because the superhero is pictured on his blanket), or when he eats his apple for dinner and his cutlery is attached to his plate. This piece is a good start but could use more meat on the bare bones to become an engaging, compelling solo performance.
Next up, Verkley performed his semi choreographed piece ‘Island of humanity’. It combined some poetic language with some choreography. It talked about being alone in a world full of people and the drive to search for connection. The monologue had some interesting commentary on social interaction in an increasingly disconnected world, but the piece was full of clichés and trite metaphors. It featured lines such as ‘Will I ever be free?’ and ‘the rain started to resemble tears.’ The idea for this piece is good, but the entire execution was poor.
Last, but certainly not least was Barrera with comedy that featured puppetry, projection art and dance, entitled ‘Fallen Moon’. This piece was charming and well done, depicting an alien-like character who get into a fight with a monster and consequently falls to earth. She seemingly gets locked up with a box and a toilet. She explores the contents of the box, or her hands do as they seem to take over her body. Barrera has put thought into all of her movements, making them alien-like and foreign. This piece is fresh and compelling and also has the potential to grow into a full length piece.
The Soulocentric showcase is a good taste of the work that emerging artists are producing in Calgary. The next showcase is tonight at 8pm. More information here.