Every summer, the Toronto Fringe Festival takes place giving the opportunity for artists to showcase their creative work, no holds barred. 140+ productions are featured at 125+ venues across the west end of Toronto drawing in a massive audience to everything from musicals, comedies, drama, dance, family programming, improvisation and anything else you can imagine.
Deciding to give it a try for the first time, Catalyst Dance Company submitted their self-produced show “The 5th Element” that was created after working internationally in the commercial industry and returning back home to Toronto. With beginner’s luck on their side, their show was successfully selected. Re-mounting their show, they have recruited new dancers, revamped key pieces in the show, and as amateurs to the largest Theatre Festival, are continuing to wrap their heads around the whole Fringe experience. Although supported by the Festival, all companies are left to their own devices to promote their show and are encouraged to come up with practically anything under the sun that will get people in the seats.
As risk-takers themselves, Catalyst joins in on the thrill. From running in poster sprints to compete for prime real estate in the Fringe alleyway, to creating buzz outside the theatre before Show time with hype dance circles, costumes, posters and flyers; to participating in Art Wanks (a street 30-minute Audience Participation piece); to constantly enticing reviewers to come watch a show, to shouting out other Fringe Shows for effective cross-promotions. Call it a true hustle for your art. And, why not?
As artists, we can get so introverted in the studio and become so humble about our work that we forget to actually let others know it. Because Fringe is the perfect stomping ground to try new things and offer audiences grass-root, unmasked experiences, Catalyst has unapologetically joined in and are proudly projecting their own unique voices through ‘The 5th Element.” Fighting to keep the arts scene alive, it seems this ‘break the rules’ route is essential for a growing creative lifeline in the city.
Currently showing at The Bathurst Street Theatre, Catalyst Dance Company is made of diverse dancers that celebrate the multiculturalism and diversity of the city. Each dancer owns their forte and has seamlessly collaborated to mash up the freshest mix of urban, classical and cultural dance. Refusing to confine them in a box, Catalyst welcomes all styles and has used this philosophy in forming their raw, eclectic show. “The 5th Element” takes audiences on a journey across the elements of life from Earth, Water, Fire, and Air by performing a kaleidoscope of dance, music, and powerful spoken word.
Now tweet that.
For tickets to Catalyst “The 5th Element”, order at www.FringeToronto.com
Photography by: marypics.com