Let’s Get Metaphysical With Cirque de Vol’s Aerial Allegories in The Fringe Dwellers | Theater | Indy Week
Pin It

Let’s Get Metaphysical With Cirque de Vol’s Aerial Allegories in The Fringe Dwellers 

The Fringe Dwellers

photo courtesy of Cirque de Vol

The Fringe Dwellers

The mystical is no longer the exclusive province of the shaman, the yogi, and the seer—not with quantum physicists detailing their latest mind-boggling experiments in peer-reviewed journals (and in subsequent, inevitable TED Talks).

But that's really not news. In the 1960s, as the mythos goes, an entire generation set off in search of enlightenment through everything from surfing to psilocybin. Nearly half a century later, a Buddhist friend reminds me that almost any activity can be done mindfully. So I'm willing to go along with the intriguing premise director Sara Phoenix explores in Cirque de Vol's The Fringe Dwellers in Burning Coal Theatre Company's second-stage series.

Why not add trapeze work, adagio and aerial dance, and contact improv to the long list of methods humans have used to reach out toward the cosmos? Can't these serve as compelling metaphors for our place in the universe as well? This imaginative production answers yes.

In the parabolas of Toni Craige's aerial flights of fancy—and in her earthbound, blindfolded, close-contact duet with Adam Dipert—we do indeed see humans on the fringe, pushing at the edges of the possible and the self. In her pensive trapeze work, Carlie Huberman probes the borders of balance, both figuratively and literally, with partner Jeff Kochuk.

Animals show up as spiritual templates in engaging aerial movements "The Kiss of Grace" and "The Cat Lady," as well as in Anna Renee Ohe's "Sealskin/Soulskin," a modern dance sequence based on an Inuit legend. Host Brian Cooper's new-age musings grow ponderous in places, as during Paige LaWall's mesmerizing hoop work during "New Depths." Still, the show pokes fun at them during Cooper's comic "Corporate Shaman/Self Love Vows," a marriage ceremony for one.

Ryan Matthews's trombone work tastefully augments Brian Shaw and Tim Lemuel's soundscape and trippy projected visuals. But the real metaphysics found in The Fringe Dwellers lie in the bodies of the performers as they simultaneously manifest risk, grace, change, and Newtonian physics. Their airborne and land-based achievements provide the clearest signal about the possibilities awaiting us just outside our conventional physical, intellectual, and spiritual comfort zones.

This article appeared in print with the headline "Theatrical Alchemy"

Speaking of...

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Theater



Twitter Activity

Comments

This looks wonderful! I cant wait until it goes on the road so we can see it in California!

by Michelle Nogales on Pioneering African-American Sci-Fi Author Octavia Butler’s Empathy and Foresight Take the Stage in Parable of the Sower (Theater)

Spelling error for one of the owners of RRE: it's Rebekah Carmichael, not Rachel Carmichael. Also, the shows run between …

by J Robert Raines on Raleigh Room Escapes Slips Through the Keyhole Between Room-Escape Games and Immersive Theater (Theater)

Most Recent Comments

This looks wonderful! I cant wait until it goes on the road so we can see it in California!

by Michelle Nogales on Pioneering African-American Sci-Fi Author Octavia Butler’s Empathy and Foresight Take the Stage in Parable of the Sower (Theater)

Spelling error for one of the owners of RRE: it's Rebekah Carmichael, not Rachel Carmichael. Also, the shows run between …

by J Robert Raines on Raleigh Room Escapes Slips Through the Keyhole Between Room-Escape Games and Immersive Theater (Theater)

your 20 sept review of playmakers current offering missed the boat, big time. the play portrayed all the characters as …

by Pointyhead on The Cake Edits Reality to Ignore the Everyday Consequences of Bible Belt Homophobia (Theater)

Oh, I'd be amused even without the in-jokes. These folks are having a great time, and the setting is transportive. …

by needsomeokra on Wants Upon a Time Is a Commedia Dell'arte Interrogation of What Happily Ever After Really Means (Theater)

The photo credit is incorrect. The photo was taken and edited by Areon Mobasher for Burning Coal Theatre Company. Please …

by Areon Mobasher on The Greeks Streamlines Sophocles’s Theban Trilogy Into Three Nimble, Strikingly Modern One-Acts (Theater)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation