ThySelf by Broken Rhythms Dance March 2018. A review.

ThySelf by Broken Rhythms Dance March 2018. A review.

Since 2011 when she founded Broken Rhythms Dance, choreographer Dyana Sonik-Henderson has consistently created new work and engaged unusual audiences by applying to Fringe theatre festivals, first in her home city of Victoria BC and then further afield in Port Alberni, Edmonton, Halifax and Toronto.  As a marketing move, it was pure genius—patrons unaccustomed to dance had the opportunity to view these pieces in an adventurous environment where experimentation—both for performers and viewers—is encouraged.

The troupe quickly gained a reputation for accessible dance with complex themes at the basis of the choreography—SPARK addressed creation; Grim—dark fairy tales; Seven—the stages of grief; Universal Horrors melded beautiful moving images from horror films with dance.  Throughout, Sonik-Henderson’s keen ear and inquiring mind grasped one central idea and then, inspired by music—often ambient or electronic—stretched it out into a series of energetic physical explorations.

Her collaborations with local theatre companies and the Pretty Good Not Bad music festival have furthered the company’s reach and helped build a passionate group of followers. Bedecked in their-now-signature fancy lashes (another genius marketing move spurred by the necessity to stand out in a crowd of performers working the Fringe line-ups) at fundraisers and events they definitely stand out—off and on the dance floor.

With a unique style completely their own—Sonik-Henderson brands her approach “rhythmical contemporary”—these dancers are strong and present, even when exploring nothing less than the concept of “self”.

In ThySelf  Sonik-Henderson has, for the first time, abstained from extensive program notes—the effect is incredibly freeing for the audience who, informed by a simple statement about the work, are then able to listen to the music, watch the beautiful movement onstage coupled with intricate lighting design, and let their imaginations soar.  One notable vignette featured a fantastical creature that enticed and awed the dancers performing alongside—was it fearful or welcoming?  As with the notion of self, interpretation will depend on an individual’s back story.

Modern dance is often a foreign world with few signposts for the uninitiated, complete with its own language; Victoria is fortunate to have a company working at the grass roots level to change this perception. Sonik-Henderson has built a continuum that includes workshops and classes, shows, appearances and collaborations, to gently ease people into an appreciation for movement-based performance. The success bestowed is a result of years of dedicated hard work and passion.

No matter your level of familiarity with dance, you can be guaranteed that a Broken Rhythms piece will leave a lasting impression and have you thinking, long after it is finished.

ThySelf was presented at the Metro Studio in Victoria BC on March 16/17 2018.

ThySelf –The newest piece from Victoria’s innovative indie dance company Broken Rhythms explores anxiety, self-sabotage and identity through dance. ThySelf premieres March 16+17 at the Metro Theatre.

This show is for anyone who has felt lonely in a crowded room or at peace in a moment of solitude.

ThySelf explores who we are in public, in private and who we strive to be through movement, breath, and rhythm. Dancers explore the fractured self that comes together to create coherent identities that transform and dissolve moment to moment.

Charles Fernyhough writes… “We are all fragmented, …there is no unitary self. We are all in pieces, struggling to create the illusion of a coherent ‘me’ from moment to moment.”

Originally conceived as a work to combat personal feelings of anxiety, the research and creation evolved to dive deep into a fragmented reality that focuses on conflicting internal monologues that make up personalities. Rather than thinking that thoughts and identity are stagnant ThySelf views them as ever evolving layers that crack and separate to create individual moments that make up our day to day reality.

About @lacouvee

Community Builder. Catalyst. Speaker. Writer. Arts Advocate.

Passionate about bridging online and offline communities to effect positive change.

I truly believe that one person can make a difference and that we all have our own lives to live, creatively, while respecting the unique nature of others.

Speak Your Mind