Fringe review: Wild/Walled

WILD/WALLED by Alison Daley, Half Second Echo, Tracey.

WILD/WALLED by Alison Daley, Half Second Echo, Tracey Norman by the company. At Al Green Theatre. July 8 at noon, July 9 at 5 pm, July 10 at 1 pm, July 12 at 8:45 pm, July 14 at 10:15 pm, July 15 at 8 pm. See listing. Rating: NNN

As the title suggests, this ambitious contemporary dance work explores themes of freedom and confinement.

Choreographed with notable stylistic differences by Tracey Norman, Miles Gosse and Alison Daley, the three-part work is loosely stitched together by a large cast and a collection of props – Styrofoam bricks and balls, a large sheet of plastic.

The dancers work mostly in groups, alternately shoving and supporting each other, playing competitive games, bodies twining on assorted planes. We have a wild side, the piece seems to be saying, and we struggle with it.

Unfortunately, the relentless abstraction of that struggle here makes this work wearisome after a while. Things perk up again in the final section – in a grim sort of way – when the dancers channel lab animals undergoing various behavioral stresses in a clinical trial.

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