April 24, 2024


Travis Wall’s Shaping Sound: After the Curtain continued with the second night of its 2017 North American tour at Centre in the Square in Kitchener on March 3. The show drew a massive crowd, which filled the theatre.

The show was created by artistic director Travis Wall, along with Nick Lazarini, Teddy Forance and Kyle Robinson, who are all equipped with immensely superb dancing abilities and credentials.

Each of them has performed on shows like Dancing With the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance. Shaping Sound, which through an electrifying mash-up of dance styles and musical genres, tells the narrative of a man in the midst of an inner battle with himself while he works to discover his creative voice after the sudden death of his one true love.

The dozen dancers who filled the stage at various times throughout the production had impeccable chemistry. Their hypnotic talent was obvious even to those not well-versed in the inner workings of the dance world. Wall enthralled the audience with his creativity and obvious masterful stage direction throughout the entirety of the performance.

The mobile set was rolled along the stage by the cast themselves as they crawled or walked below, disguised by the darkness cast on them, though still obviously in their characters’ costumes. This had no hindrance on the performance as a whole, if anything, it added to the originality of the show. The costumes pulled everything together; they were very well designed and creative. The music, a crucial element to the story and show itself, was an interesting mix of genres and moods; though it seemed to suit the atmosphere of the narrative throughout. The lighting, another piece of the production that was used to tell the story, could use some tweaking. At one point during the production a random flash of light startled the audience and at another time excessively bright lights flashed across the stage for more than mere seconds. This may have actually warranted a pre-show warning for those sensitive to such things.

The performance began 15 minutes past the 8 p.m. start time, probably due to the immense size of the audience and the stragglers that ensued. Centre in the Square staff were right to give everyone a reasonable amount of time to take their seats before the performance’s start, avoiding interruptions.

Shaping Sound was an interesting show. It was captivating, creative and well performed, although it could have used a clearer plot structure. It was easy to get lost in the beautiful dancing and no longer understand the direction of the storyline. The show definitely evoked emotions in the audience, though it may be difficult to decipher what exactly those emotions were.

All in all, it’s no wonder Wall has been the recipient of an Emmy award in the past for outstanding choreography. He did a wonderful job of captivating his viewers, and the show ended to a standing ovation.

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