Wolves & Selves: The St. Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival, June 14-24, 2012


Wolves & Selves

Choreographers/Dancers Andrea de Keijzer and Erin Robinsong

Bain St-Michel

3300 Rue St Dominique, Montreal

Saturday June 16-Sunday June 24 2012 



The widely known quotation "If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem" is well-illustrated in this ecological-message driven dance-theatre presentation.

Our leaders/hosts, choreographers/dancers Andrea de Keijzer and Erin Robinsong are two humans and their alternate feral selves, a pig and horse represented by two rubber head-masks.

Audience members have brightly coloured balloons attached to their wrists on their way into the theatre, creating an inviting festive child-like atmosphere. These balloons lure us in -- the exact opposite of cheap eye-enticing trinkets handed out by colonizers to enslave native populations – and make us willing participants in building ecological awareness. On the surface, the balloons create an atmosphere of lightheartedness, but prove to have their own hidden secrets.

De Keijzer and Robinsong choreographed this piece on Cortes Island, BC, where they actually lived for a month in the wilds with wolves. The wolves, as de Keijzer in a hypnotic voiceover tells us, have somewhat similar behaviour patterns to humans in society. They are predatory and fight over food supplies. Survival of the fittest rules. In human society survival depends on money, wealth, greed—the weakest succumb.

There is a playful human and non-human camaraderie in the dancers’ body language. The pig and horse become quite human in a Grimms’ fairy-tale sort of way. The piece uses props symbolically, including a balloon cloudburst raining money.

This magic-realist production has the feel of a subconscious dream-like zone, where blackouts punctuate fragmented images, working on a subtextual level and building towards a powerful imagistic climax. This makes a strong statement on our society’s current relationship to nature.

The choreographers bring this message to us innovatively, gently and magically, without polemic or sermonizing.