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AUDIENCE REVIEW: Trainor Dance Company's "Fact or Fiction?"

Trainor Dance Company's "Fact or Fiction?"

Trainor Dance Company

Performance Date:
Shows on 12/2, 2/25 and 3/24


The PIT Loft 154 W. 29th St., New York, NY


Freeform Review:

There is a trend in new media that is something not seen in older performances — that of audience participation. This can be found mostly on live streaming services (Twitch, YouTube, and TikTok are all examples). These services allow the viewers to interact and comment on the broadcast as it happens and, in some cases, add to it by creating animations and other effects that can be seen on the screen by all viewers. There are also some examples in traditional media (for example voting on a reality show winner via dial-in on "So You Think You Can Dance"), but other media has not caught up to the level of participation achieved by the streaming services. This new interactive and social way of performing (and viewing) has become quite popular quite quickly and seems (in my opinion) to be a future trend many are not prepared for, or expecting.

Caitlin Trainor (director of Trainor Dance company) decided to include dance performances in this trend. She and her company have created an interactive performance where every audience member is involved. When you enter the theater you are given a sign — on one side it says "Fact", and on the other "Fiction".  The show is presented as a series of vignettes after each you are asked — do you think it is Fact or Fiction — and get the thrill of holding up your sign to show your personal conviction (or confusion). This is very engaging, as a viewer you become more invested in the stories as you wonder if they are true (often an upsetting possibility) or false (what a relief.) 

The company members all gave excellent performances and each has a unique style and skills.  I particularly enjoyed this aspect of the performances as the differences between the performers gave the performance more vibrancy and life. It seems there is often a shortcut of having every performer look the same and do the same moves in tandem (which can be beautiful to see). Having a company like this with so much dynamism in the performers gives the choreography an exciting energy I enjoy.  

I can recommend this show without hesitation to everyone — the stories are engaging and interesting — the performances are exceptional and it is all enhanced by excellent choreography and the unique aspect of audience participation which just makes it so much fun.


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Hogan Long


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