2016 Capital Fringe Review: ‘And 1! a dansical parody

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Usually, when someone can’t keep up in a dance, it’s seen as an error.  In the ArasDance-produced performance, And 1! a dansical parody, the routines aren’t perfect, and that’s the point. In one moment, a dancer frantically tries to keep up with the others. In another, they’re all off in their own corners, making “mistakes” as they practice their dances. The performance allows one to glance at the reflections and errors dancers make during rehearsals.

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The Artistic Director and Choreographer of the production is Sara Herrera. The company’s talented dancers are Mariana Barros, Jessica Bracy, Sara Herrera, Kate Page, Matthew Rock, and Brynna Shank.

In And 1!, there are references to the Tony Award-winning modern-day musical, Hamilton, and parodies of songs like Laura Branigan’s “Gloria,” which is amusingly altered to be “Hernia” when a dancer pulls a muscle. In another scene, when a dancer is trying to remember the moves to a song, they say statements like, “Smell your knee for dramatics,” to the tune of Adele’s “Hello.”

An audio file of the sound of cracking joints is played before the five dancers in the performance do robotic-like stretches. Later, in moments when the symmetry of a dance is broken and a dancer is too to the left, too to the right, or not stretched enough, an audio of their pre-recorded thoughts is played.  In one scene, a dancer complains about her hunger, keeps it to herself, and wishes for just one more granola bar.

Throughout the ‘plotless’ performance, you never know what will happen next – like when dancers slither across the floor, or when they swing props like lit lightbulbs, or when they suddenly bump into the other or break into song.

By the end of the performance, the dancers sashay and wiggle to the front of the stage, and it’s obvious that the performers had a lot of fun in the making of it. To keep the end even more light-hearted, the dancers walk into the crowd and invite people to dance on stage.

‘And 1! a dansical parody is an entertaining outing at the Capital Fringe. Buy some tickets and you never know who you will bump into at ‘And 1! a dansical parody.

Running Time: 50 minutes, with no intermission.

And 1! a dansical plays through July 16, 2016 at Atlas Performing Arts Center’s Sprenger Theatre – 1333 H Street, NE, in Washington, DC. For tickets, call (202) 399-7993, or purchase them online.

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