With THE UNDERRATED ACT OF TALKING TO ONESELF, femme. collective has interwoven disparate acts to form a cohesive whole, a gorgeous string of solo, duet and group dances that tackle that, yes, underrated act of talking to oneself.
The theme is especially clear during the cross-genre sections of the show. For instance, the opening act takes place outside of the venue with one of the dancers reciting a monologue about the anxiety of taking one step forward; she knows, though, that first step can become a stride, then a sprint to reaching her goals. She coaxes herself, and the audience, into action, and we walk into the theater together. The “oneself” referenced in the show’s title is often performed by a second dancer to an act’s protagonist, her subconscious who supports her or challenges her to stretch further. It’s striking at the climax when all of the show’s dancers emerge for an ensemble piece — all of their internal monologues spoken together, silently, through movement.
[The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut Street] September 17-18, 2016; fringearts.com/underrated-act-talking-oneself.
Review by Julie Zeglen