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Review: The KTS's In Three Parts

In Three Parts does its best to balance the challenges that come with doing a dance show in a theatrical season, with limited success. Most of the time, the show stumbles, clumsily landing on the foot firmly planted in the world of technical dance, which makes very little sense in terms of the progression of the plot of the show.

In Three Parts, the KTS and King’s Dance Collective production does its best to balance the challenges that come with doing a dance show in a theatrical season, with limited success. Most of the time, the show stumbles, clumsily landing on the foot firmly planted in the world of technical dance, which makes very little sense in terms of the progression of the plot of the show. Or rather, plots of the show. The show is very rigidly constructed around four distinct short stories: A Prelude, The Jelly-Bean, The Yellow Wallpaper and Araby.
Directors Sidey Deska-Gauthier, Lauren Hughes, Julia Hutt and Sasha Yeomans do a great job of accurately showcasing the dancing talent at King’s; which is to say that there are a small handful of talented, enthusiastic, exciting dancers, surrounded by many sloppy, inept ones on stage for In Three Parts.
The show is worth seeing for two reasons, the first being choreographers, Seana Stevenson, Sidey Deska-Gauthier and Julia Hutt’s rendition of The Yellow Wallpaper. This section of the show stood out, above the other three parts of the show. The striking image of insanity, painted by Emily Bridger, with the dissonant chords of Dave Lewis (cellist) and Rachel Cadman (violinist) pacing the scene was wonderfully emphasized by the eerily faceless wallpaper. For that, alone, the show is worth seeing.
The second reason to see the show is named Stefanie Bliss. She carried the last section of the show, single-handedly. Whereas the story itself is disjointed and variably in-synch with the music, Stefanie’s performance was tight and beautiful. Her energy was palpable and her dancing so expressive that the boyish charm of her character dominated my attention. She fluidly tied the fragmented sections of the bazaar together, almost holding my attention long enough to forget the shallow, disorganized variety-show that governs the rest of the scene. Stefanie shines in a variety of different styles, bringing out the bounce in Irish dance and the excitement of a large group number, almost seamlessly transitioning between them. Her technique was so magnificent that when she dropped a beat, as a choice consistent with her character, the purposeful moment of imperfection made for a delightful contrast to the rest of her routine. And though that might seem like something you’d expect from a dance show, it was incredibly uncommon in In Three Parts; when people fell behind in a routine, it had nothing to do with their a choice.
The show’s set and design were distracting. For a show that is undeniably about how it looks, the directors paid almost no attention to aesthetics. The large white wall, reminiscent of White Light’s set (from last year’s dance show), barely hung together. When working with such a minimal set, the details become very important and the fact that a huge shadow of some large, round object obscured much of the coloured lighting on the aforementioned wall and that the only other set pieces were clearly taken from the NAB or crudely hung off of the wall irreparably damaged the aesthetic. The costuming, though extremely unexacting – and in some cases just plain misguided – was, for the most part, cute.
Above all, the dance show should be seen for the moments within it, but as a whole, betrayed the true nature of an amateur dance company, which is well-intentioned but off-balance.

By David J. Shuman

David is a second-year journalism student at King's, is engagement/news editor of The Watch, and a copy editor of The Pigeon. He writes on student politics, campus happenings, and school news. 

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