2017 Seattle Fringe Festival: Dancing on the Wall- A review by Nick Nguyen.
Dancing on the Wall attempts to give us a look in to the (possible) future – one with a wall, with growing class divisions, racial divisions, and the threat of war even closer. This piece, created by the Tessellation Dance Project and directed by Jeremy Cline, uses dance in order to oscillate between the present we live in and a reality that may not be far off.
Moving through different numbers, from hip-hop-oriented numbers to pieces with Jimi Hendrix-inspired songs, the performances feel raw. At times the individuals seem to work in perfect synchronization with one another, at other times almost forcibly clunky. The scenes depicted, all of them with a wall that contains changing graffiti during the performance, go from dark and violent to loving and hilarious. There is even an absurd number, where Donald Trump’s voice is dubbed into “Do You Want to Build a Snowman”, now “Do You Want to Build a Wall”.
Where Dancing on the Wall really excels, however, are the times when history is fully exposed as ever-repeating. The numbers with Jimi Hendrix instrumentals in the background of violent numbers, or forbidden loves, expose the opinions of the Tessellation Project that Trump’s wall will only repeat history. The allusions to the Vietnam War and, perhaps, even the Berlin Wall, bring a more serious tone to a performance that seems a bit too absurd at times.
Only thirty minutes long, Dancing on the Wall is playing three more times during the Fringe Festival on the 25th, 31st, and April 1st. For those that are looking for a fun, and at times thought-provoking take on the creation of a wall, go see this performance.
Dancing on the Wall by Tessellation Dance Project. Directed by Jeremy Cline. Produced by Tessellation Dance Project as part of the 2017 Seattle Fringe Festival (A Project of Theatre of Puget Sound). Runtime: 30 minutes. The Center Theatre at the Armory, 305 Harrison St, Seattle Center. Tickets: seattlefringefestival.org. Times: 3/23 8:45pm, 3/25 2:15pm, 3/31 6:30pm, 4/1 8:30pm