For ballet lovers, VidaDance brings another entry to the Kansas City Fringe Festival with their 2021 entry, “When,” based on a Rudyard Kipling poem, “If.”
Unlike other shows, “If” features four short pieces that tell simple stories of common people and the situations they encounter through daily life. Most of the stories involve relationships in some fashion. Through graceful and flowing ballet moves, the stories depict the feelings of the characters and everyday situations.
One story involves a couple who say a sad goodbye to be followed by a joyful hello upon a character’s return. The second story focuses on the bistro owner of a small business and the loss of customers when her stove/oven cannot produce the orders. Then, she faces the devastation of knowing those customers would be reluctant to return. Another story involves job loss and the hurdle to find a new job and then acclimate into it.
The grace of ballet reveals these stories to viewers. Not to be overlooked, the music composed for these stories brings a lightness and hopeful feeling to the characters.
VidaDance Company takes a fresh approach to their storytelling by venturing out of the Bollinger Center and dancing in houses, streets, by railway tracks, and more. The locations help tell the stories presented, giving a new look to the art of ballet.
According to their description provided to the Fringe, “this innovative “dancical” follows the journeys of four characters as they work to overcome obstacles in their stories of romantic relationship.”
“When” by VidaDance gives a good introduction to those who think they do not understand ballet. For those who do know and do understand, this simple show amplifies artistic expression through dance. If you want see an hour-long series of short stories, “When,” offered by the 2021 Fringe Festival, gives a great introduction to ballet expression.