Friday, May 20, 2016

Fringe Review: 'Paint Chips'

Posted By on Fri, May 20, 2016 at 12:43 PM

click to enlarge paint_chips_yellow.jpg
Voci Dance may have started out with an advantage – I went into their opening-night performance of Paint Chips already familiar with, and a great fan of, Ken Nordine's circa-1966 Colors recordings. Even if I sat with my eyes closed and simply listened, I was going to enjoy myself. But Voci artistic director Genevieve Bernard and dancers Adrienne Nichols, Lisa Mie, Rokaya Mikhailenko, Katherine Fabian and Larissa Humiston wildly exceeded any expectation or hopes I may have had.
Paint Chips
Voci Dance – Orlando, FL
Venue: Black
Length: 60 Min
Price: $11 (Disc: SR)
Rating: All Ages
Buy Tickets
Nordine's word-jazz portraits of colors, originally recorded as radio ads for the Fuller Paint Company, are brought to life with synesthetic glee by the dancers, who embody 20 different hues, including bossy Green, gossipy Magenta, frustrated Chartreuse and complicated Flesh. Watching Nichols, as Blue, go from a navy funk to a sky-high gaiety sets the, ahem, tone for the show. Each dancer moves schizophrenically through a rainbow of personalities as they personify each color.
click to enlarge Adrienne Nichols as Rosey in 'Paint Chips' at the Orlando Fringe - PHOTO BY TISSE MALLON
  • photo by Tisse Mallon
  • Adrienne Nichols as Rosey in 'Paint Chips' at the Orlando Fringe
The show is so well-constructed that it's hard to single out high points. Fabian's effortlessly expressive limbs make Green's aggression goofy and Burgundy's anxiety heart-wrenching. Mie's Magenta is comically self-satisfied, while her Olive teeters between pageant-queen self-assurance and insecurity; her characterization of Muddy (with Fabian as Soap) is an unbounded riot. Mikhailenko evokes the forlorn shadows behind goofy Orange and sly Turquoise. Humiston is an agile kinesthetic communicator, and Nichols commands the stage with emotional force and clarity in each sequence, whether solo or supporting. Dana Mott's delightful projections are era-appropriate, recalling the graphic tone of that time without appearing slavishly retro; ditto the costumes – of which there were shockingly many – they're neither rigidly '60s nor jarringly modern.

The entire experience felt expensively well-thought-out, lovingly perfectionistic. I've racked my brain to think of something negative to make this review seem like Big-C Criticism, but what's the point? Fringe is for enjoying yourself, and this show exemplifies that joy. There are only four more performances (on May 21, 22, 23 and 26, in the Black Venue on Virginia Drive), so don't let yourself miss out.

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