Combining black-and-white video interview segments of many diverse people responding to questions about dance with live-action spoken word, choreographed movement and some audience interaction, Pones Inc. raises questions about personal early memories of dance, what dance means culturally, why more people don't go see dance and in general why more people don't dance.
Artemis Exchange offers a perfectly wonderful evening of a totally different sort here. It's deeply philosophic and not nearly as scatterbrained as it would like you to think. It's more deep-delving than over-reaching. And it's seriously funny — with laughter rumbling up from inside provocative reinterpretations of familiar parables and fables.
A pack of gum, a can of grapefruit juice, a pair of baby booties hand-knitted by Granny — these are the modest spoils of Jimmy Hogg's one-man performance, one of four Cincy Fringe solo shows assigned to the small platform stage at Media Bridges. The unassuming title, no-frills setting and even the rumbling Race Street traffic all serve Hogg well.
This year's Performance Gallery entry in the Fringe Fest, scripted by Brad Cupples and directed by Darryl Harris, chooses to stick to a more familiar format (the extended comedy sketch) than previous year's creative and passionate efforts. The bits that work here are usually the ones that are the most outlandish.
Director Michael Burke of paperStrangers performance group uses a cast of six and two life-sized puppet dolls in this intense, befeathered, modern-flavored restaging of the 2,400-year-old Greek drama by Euripides in which a vengeful woman horribly murders her own children. Burke says his curiosity regarding Medea's nature, usually caricatured as heartless and evil, drove him to create his adaptation.
The 2009 Cincinnati Fringe Festival wrapped up on June 6 with approximately 200 people jammed into Know Theatre's bar space, the Underground. It was a festive finale to the sixth annual event's successful 12-day run. Two days before the Fringe was over, the festival’s ticket goal was met; final attendance was approximately 6,600, spurred by a 140 percent increase in pass sales over 2008.
I didn't expect to say this, but the primary reason to see jan street dance theatre's 'Bibliography of Love' isn't the dancing but the spoken word. Three men and two women present innumerable vignettes on the topics of love, gender and relationships, blending a few present-day scenarios into their historical love letter and poetry recitations.
Three agile, committed performers defy convention, if not always gravity, in this self-described "multi-media, aerial art masterpiece," done in an "avant garde style" — in other words, no clear story, an off-putting score of atonal Electronica, random (but strangely mesmerizing) projected video and a colorful costuming scheme pitched somewhere between circus and sadomasochism.
To showcase its intern company, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati has annually contributed a show to the Fringe that features these young performers in scenes by established playwrights or self-written pieces on a particular theme. This year, with a talented set of interns (five 23-year-old women plus a director) they undertook a more coherent piece of theater that has truly paid off.