Orlando Fringe 2016 Review: KIN

By : Billy Manes
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The Explore Composite Presents: Kin
Blue Venue, find showtimes
From the moment you walk into the door of the Shakes’ Blue Venue for The Explore Composite’s Kin at Orlando Fringe, you can sense some kind of tension in the offing. Next to a pile of PVC pipes strewn across the floor is a bowl on a table with a stack of cards asking each audience member to explain what family means to them. You get where they’re going here: deconstruction as reconstruction, form as emotion, family as a pipeline. For all its abstraction, it makes sense.

Given that there is very little spoken word in this 45-minute piece of performance art, we would be hard-pressed to tell you exactly where the heavy sighs and jointed angles are leading; as with most choreographed stories, the interpretation is up to the viewer. But there are some obvious hints as to what’s going on, and they are confirmed mid-show by choreographer/director Christorpher Gonzalez La Corte. Family is what you need, not necessarily from whence you come.

Through exhortations – heavy breaths, fluid movements – the cast of seven relays a story of living inside and outside of a box quite literally. Sometimes the cube tilts and winds, sometimes those within it do just the same. There are hints of the oft-tragic implications of going it on your own, but there are also moments of solidarity, presumably meant to represent the lockstep of a peer group looking out for best interests.

It’s an intriguing show, one that many might not want to wrap their heads around at a festival full of overt overstatement, but that’s to said many’s loss. The lulling music – a woman nearby actually fell asleep, and we can’t blame it on the dancers – rarely lifts its head, but the stars of the show are often lifting each other. Kin is another word for family, obviously. And that is communicated with grace here.

Your note-card communications may be revisited (to stunning effect) by a simulated clothesline-and-clip presentation at the end. Well done.

Read all of Watermark’s coverage of the 2016 Orlando Fringe Theatre Festival here.

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