You know Buddies in Bad Times has fulfilled its mandate of showcasing theatrical events that you wouldn’t find elsewhere in the city when a buck naked man is on the stage, jiggling about in a tin washbin, pretending to be a gorilla. When I want dark Canadian drama, I’ll go to the Tarragon or Passe Murraille. When I want striking contemporary dance with a pert naked bum on the side, give me Art Fag at Buddies.
Art Fag is, as its title suggests, unapologetically artsy. All the essential elements are there. Real time graffiti. Check. Russian voiceover. Check. Spoken word. Check. Barefooted trumpeter. Check. Archival footage. Check. Rain soundtrack. Check.
Call me an art fag hag if you will, but there are days that I daydream about hanging out at Andy Warhol’s Factory in 1965. This show comes pretty close to what I imagine it would have been like. Sure once in a while it slipped into a cliché of “avant garde” (woman smoking thoughtfully while poised at a brick precipice . . . yawn), but there’s something delightfully decadent about indulging in choreographer, D.A. Hoskins’, artistry and the sensuality of the talented dancers.
Most memorable for me was when a bouquet was smashed with machine-precise violence by the pendulum-like arm of dancer Danielle Baskerville as she lay entranced on the floor. The fragrance flooded the air as the petals scattered across the stage, tragically framing her as a corpse. It was a moment that basked in pure beauty. With this moment, D.A. Hoskins demonstrated that he knows just what the theatre is for and just how to bring such aesthetic magic alive for the audience.
Art Fag runs at Buddies in Bad Times till January 13th; see http://www.artsexy.ca for details.