by Paula Citron
This week I’m at the Dancing on the Edge Festival in Vancouver.
Local hero Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg creates very funny and very satiric solos fusing movement and text that depict well-drawn characters. Nick & Juanita is her new full-length show.
Nick, whom we meet in the first half, is an arrogant, sleazy, shallow talk show host who fancies himself the consummate lover – and Friedenberg portrays men better than they can themselves. Juanita is a sizzling Latin hot tamale who keeps falling in love with the wrong guy. Friedenberg may start with the cliché, but she keeps adding in layers of psychological and emotional depth so that these characters move far beyond the stereotypes.
Friedenberg is not only an excellent actor, she is also a very, very strong dancer. The most fascinating aspect of her work is how the very physical movement functions as subtext where her body often shows the character’s words as lies.
From the Firehall Arts Centre in Vancouver, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.