Review by: Brian Morton
Everlasting Slumber is a cross genre multifaceted Brothers Grimm inspired dance piece relating the fairy-tale dream like story of a small boy (Jasper Empson) who must protect his family from a nightmarish red snake who is out to tempt and ultimately consume his mother and two sisters.
This production from Toronto’s Hercinia Arts Collective tells its story with virtually no spoken dialogue rather focusing on music and movement – a creepy voice over of a young child is set to expressionistic subtitles and dance and movement overlaid with circus techniques.
“Once there was a boy who loved to play. One day he fell”.
Some of the visual imagery is very strong and memorable, including a family picnic using silver hula hoops that dance spin and weave to a steady tech-no beat. Also there is the picture of a pretty blonde aerialist hanging from golden silks the same color as her curly blonde hair… Shades of Repunzel anyone?
The soundtrack music composed by Waylen Miki is strong and upbeat. It also features primal drumming and clashing gongs to great effect.
The climatic fight to the death with the hideous giant red snake happens 12 feet up a rope as most the cast is suspended from the ceiling.
In the end the nightmare is over, the nasty snake bites the dust and our broken family is reunited- but not before we are treated to some spectacular aerial circus stunts with hoops. silks and rope.
If you think about a cross over production between Story Theatre and Circ De Soleil and you will have the vibe of this clever movement focused show.
I highly recommended this production for youngsters of all ages and for folks who love rich visual imagery – fans of TWIN PEAKS and HBO’s CARNIVALE perhaps.