Dreams, Schemes and Circus Crowds: My Life in the Carnivale
Written, directed and choreographed by Mr. Willy Marchante
Dancers Edge Studios
Finding this show was a real challenge, but worth the effort. My tip off was an offhand remark after a late night Fringe show indicating that something was happening at an obscure dance studio next weekend. A little digging led me out to a small dance studio on the back side of Winter Park (Is Goldenrod a real city, or just a zip code?) The lobby was crowded with small children and an unhappy dog with a blotch of Henna on its back. Had I stumbled onto a dance recital aimed at doting grandparents, or was I just confused by the confusion? Happily, these were all false worries; this show was as good as any other show Mr. Marchante has been involved in from his Varietease outings to the recent high energy “Monster Mash.” True, there were 5 years old ballerinas stomping around like lumberjacks with bursitis, but they added toe circus like quality of the show.
Dance can often be so abstract that even a close reading other program will leave you mystified as to why the dancers were rolling on the floor or flying from the rafters, but Mr. Marchante’s storytelling holds enough concrete to keep you generally aligned with the plot line. Our lead heads up a circus act and as so often happens a lost soul applies for a job with few benefits beyond anonymity and constant travel. That dancer I can only identify as Jamie appears, learns the ropes of entertaining, and falls in love with Willie. As they dance and lip sync through a psychedelic smoke and laser light world, their love blossoms only to fade as a mirage in a crystal ball. It drew more than a few tears from the scant audience.
I mentioned the children, but the bulk of the motion comes from a half dozen professional dancer’s lip syncing to pop songs and climbing around on some marginally OSHA-approved ladders. With no program, it’s a guess as to what exactly is happening, but some of the better segments include the younger cast dancing to Peek-a-Boo with marionette strings other wrists, a dark and murk adaptation of “Fun House,” and a touching wrap up “For the Benefit of Mr. Kite.” While there were some poorly lit moments in this technical restricted play house and the chairs were classic Baptist church basement, this show is worth the trip out to the ‘burbs, providing you can figure out just when it happens again.
For more information on Dancer’s Edge, please visit http://www.dancersedgeinc.com/