If you are in the mood for either flamenco dancing, beautiful guitar playing, or storytelling at this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival, look no further than Fox Woman, produced by Palabra Flamenco and playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival in the Streetcar Crowsnest Studio. And if you weren’t in the mood for these things, you should be.
Fox Woman begins with performer Denise Yeo recounting a Siberian folk tale of a lonely hunter and the titular Fox Woman. Her tone is delicate and inviting, and this first telling of the story is quite bare bones. There’s none of the dancing or music that will come in this flamenco storytelling show. In retrospect, I feel like this decision to tell the folk tale twice helped it to resonate with me on a profound level when she next danced to it.
It was this second telling that made up the majority of the performance. This time around, there were musical breaks in which Yeo danced to astounding flamenco guitar played by Gareth Owen.
I was utterly floored by the skills on display in this show. Denise Yeo was fabulous, giving a performance was at times playful, and other times quite intense. It was always captivating.
Owen’s skill on the guitar was phenomenal. When the music started, they took the time to allow Owen to play for us and lull us into the performance. I can’t stress enough that both these performers were magnificently talented in their own right.
As Yeo danced, she became more tired and out of breath. The physical feat was incredible to watch, and as Yeo’s voice became weaker with each break in the dancing to continue her story, this added to its telling. Together, the dance and song helped me to connect with the Fox Woman and the folk story at its core in a way that few shows ever have.
I was so impressed by this show. Denise Yeo’s storytelling and dancing were fantastic, as was Gareth Owen’s guitar. I highly recommend catching Fox Woman at the Toronto Fringe this year.
- Palabra Flamenco: Fox Woman plays at the Streetcar Crowsnest Studio. (345 Carlaw Ave.)
- Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (275 Bathurst St.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- The Toronto Fringe Festival is scent-free: please do not wear perfumes, colognes, or other strongly-scented products.
- Wednesday July 3rd, 6:45 pm
- Friday July 5th, 9:30 pm
- Saturday July 6th, 8:30 pm
- Sunday July 7th, 3:15 pm
- Tuesday July 9th, 4:30 pm
- Thursday July 11th, 6:00 pm
- Saturday July 13th, 1:30 pm
Photo of Denise Yeo of by Lori Garcia-Meredith.