Review by: Gord Simmons
I love this play…and I hate Romeo and Juliet.
Rock Bottom Movement (a group created by Alyssa Martin in 2012) presents us with a brilliant take on “the overactive imagination and pituitary gland of a young-person in love”. Set in the woods at a Scouting camp as we “follow Romeo, Juliet and friends through…the chivalry-less romantic situation of the current generation of young people in love”, this must-see piece of dance theatre is very refreshing.
The costume and set design by Alicia Bacile are awesome. They support all of the work of the performers primarily through their simplicity: the meaning of each physical piece is very clear, which allows for the abstraction of some meaning in the dances to shine. (The first word experienced in the play is written, rather than spoken…and the physical reaction by all the performers to the word’s power over the prop it is written on is a moment of great comedy.)
I hesitate to reveal too much about any one performer’s skills, only because I feel I might reveal too much about how the story unfolds if I do…suffice it to say that this ensemble piece has strong contributions from each member of the cast, and while they are excellently in tune with each other throughout many early sections of group choreography, their individual characters shine throughout, and we are increasingly endeared to what each character’s intentions and desires. Most of all, I suggest reading over their names again, remembering them, and heading off to see shows when you see their names: their dance work is highly disciplined and skilled (even when their characters are quite deliberately undisciplined!)
I hope to see the work of Rock Bottom Movement again and again…and I suggest you, the reader, aim to do the same.