Fringe Fest Review #1: Sub Rosa

I have been given the great honor and privilege to review the Boulder International Fringe Festival’s eclectic theatrical offerings. The first show I was able to attend is reviewed below. Please to enjoy.   ~Jenn

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Fringe Fest Review #1:

Sub Rosa performed by Fractal Tribe

You’d think, lovely lurkers, that I’d have an extra critical eye when watching aerial dance, as someone who has a modicum of experience in the art in my past. And it’s true: when I watch a piece such as Sub Rosa, I do tend to notice every single hiccup, where a layperson in the audience might not even notice. But far from making me uber-critical, my perspective actually makes me appreciate the difficulty of the moves these talented dancers accomplish, with the added knowledge of

The Fractal Tribe encouraged picture taking during the show. I only took this one, very quickly, as I was riveted.

The Fractal Tribe encouraged picture taking during the show. I only took this one, very quickly, as I was riveted.

exactly, precisely, how difficult it is to do them.

What I appreciated about the Fractal Tribe last year is exactly what they shone with this year at the Fringe Festival: they use (and excel in) multiple various apparati (as well as what I call “unarmed” dance and acrobatics), and have a seamless quality of circusy tricks blended with a dancey artistry.

Sub Rosa begins in a tribal manner, replete with shamanic horns, smoldering stares, amazing muscular bodies, clad in fur and not much else, and lots of animal panting in lieu of music. The show continues in a dreamlike state from there, not really a plot-based dance piece per se, though there is an element of a sort of sexy Alice in Wonderland feel to it. The lithe, intense dancers use ropes, loops, hoops, trapezes, each other, and even a giant ladder suspended from all possible angles to writhe and dance upon. The night I attended, the audience lost its breath myriad times, not just from the astonishing danger of the tricks but of the poignancy of the emotional depth as well.

I absolutely recommend Sub Rosa to any Fringe goer. For more on the Fractal Tribe and Sub Rosa, visit the Boulder International Fringe Festival’s website.

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