According to the group’s website, Connected -- An Interactive Experience purports to be a “theatrical experience that combines drama, choreography and technology to connect with performers on stage, with one another and to the deepest parts of themselves.” It’s a lofty ambition. But while these earnest young dancers and performers have a great deal of enthusiasm and moxie, their show falls somewhat short of its intended goal.
Throughout the proceedings, a young man with his mouth taped shut, wearing sunglasses and a headset, wanders around the stage. According to the website, this is Jacob, “who has shut himself off relationally from the world around him. As Jacob faces moments from his past that have caused him to isolate himself, he is awakened to deeper levels of intimacy in his current reality.” Hmm, OK -- but that’s a piece of information that we should know as an audience, not read on the website two days later.
The group’s chief innovation is connecting each individual audience member to a personal pair of earplugs, through which the soft voice of “The Guide” intermittently leads them through a series of rather jejune reflections: “Close your eyes. Think of a time when someone hurt you with words.” Apart from the shallowness of the exercise, the whole dynamic is hamstrung by the fact that one is never quite sure when to keep the earplugs in and when to listen to events on stage. I finally solved the problem by keeping one ear plugged and one open.
The best part of Connected may be its robotic choreography. At least that’s an abstraction that is perfectly acceptable in its very abstractness. Most of the rest of the show is actually rather Dis-Connected. E for effort, C-minus for execution. -- Al Krulick
Canvas Creative and Uncover the Color - Orlando, FL
Thursday 17 May; at 7:45pm in the Green
Saturday 19 May; at 8:30pm in the Green
Sunday 20 May; at 11:30am in the Green
Monday 21 May; at 5:45pm in the Green
Tuesday 22 May; at 8:45pm in the Green
Friday 25 May; at 10:15pm in the Green
Saturday 26 May; at 2:45pm in the Green
Price: $9 + Fringe Button (good for entire Fringe)
Discount(s): Students|Seniors|Anyone with earbuds