Review: Water

Stephanie Lilley’s thought-provoking dance production invites critical reflection on the role of water in society.

Aubrianna Snow – BTR Writer and Theremin Enthusiast

Water is perpetually in movement by nature, so it’s fitting that this hour of modern dance centres around the theme of water and its many roles in our lives. Dancers combine a mix of impressive gymnastics, emotional expression, and various thought-provoking audio to convey a series of messages around the life-giving substance. 

The final takeaway is, of course, open to interpretation. This production doesn’t hold the viewer’s hand, ensuring that whatever message they take away resonates all the more. The level of creativity that clearly went into this production is one of the most compelling things about it. 

The first act of the production is set to audio discussing how humans are all made of water, and the privilege that most of us have in being able to access clean drinking water. This is a timely topic, and the emotions brought forth by the combination of the sound design, the dancing, and atmospheric visuals invites the viewer to think critically about their relationship to water and to all that it embodies. 

The second portion of the show continues with timely sound design, this time it is about the experience of depression as relating to a feeling of drowning. Amidst these heavy topics of discussion, dancers mimic the crashing of waves on a shore and the flow of a river. The most eye-catching visuals include the depiction of dancers in a lightning storm, and one of the performers portraying the motion of a skipping stone, or perhaps a child jumping among the rocks. 

The dancers’ simple costumes contribute to the reflective and somber atmosphere of the production, and the incorporation of a large skirt into the dance was both innovative and visually stunning. Water is an emotional journey – it invites audience members to reflect on water in all its life-giving, destructive, precarious glory, and leaves them with a thirst for more. 

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