Fringe review: iso:

Directed by Stacie Clarke; King Edward School; until Sat., Aug. 24.
Our Score

Set in Vulcan, Alta., iso: explores loneliness, alienation and a desire to connect through alien robots and interpretive belly dance.

The show begins with a cute stop-motion video laying out the basic plot, which—in brief summary—involves a human girl working at the Vulcan information booth sending a signal into space. A couple of aliens receive the signal and, as a joke, send three defective companion robots to Earth. The three robots find the human, played by Kelley Ware, and through the creative use of dance, music and video components, the audience learns a little more about each of the robots: Companion Robot 1 (Meghan Gregory) is suffering loss, Companion Robot 2 (director and choreographer Stacie Clarke) is filled with longing, and Companion Robot 3 (Alison (no last name given)) is a little homicidal.

All four performers are engaging dancers who use the entirety of their bodies to convey the emotion and story at hand, and the three dancers playing the robot companions have some excellent robotic dance moves. The song choices were also thoroughly enjoyable, especially some of the creepier techno pieces in the opening and in the climax.

The story wasn’t always easy to follow—there was a number with companion robots 1 and 3 that had a social commentary that fit with the overall themes of the show, but didn’t clearly relate to the characters or their situation. The closing animation was also difficult to decipher given the finale of the dance performance. But overall the story was relatable and show’s sense of humour was quirky and entertaining. The costumes, the set, and props were kept pretty simple, but they were all on-point.

If you’ve never seen interpretive bell dancing before—or even if you have—iso: would be a great show to check out during Fringe 2019.

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