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Rosie makes T&T debut

Published: 
Sunday, August 7, 2016
Rosie, a show choreographed and performed by dancer Fana Fraser, was staged on July 28 at the Trinidad Theatre Workshop, Jerningham Avenue, Belmont. The show was a part of the New Waves! 2016 dance festival. Photos: Edison Boodoosingh

Dancer Fana Fraser’s debut of her first original composition Rosie as part of the New Waves! 2016 dance festival lived up to its billing as “unexpected, intriguing, and hilariously bizarre.”

The July 28 performance took place at the Trinidad Theatre Workshop, Belmont. It was preceded by a black moko jumbie in a crown of thorns dancing in the dark in the streets of Belmont. The piece, The Ashe of Moko, was performed by Jhawan Thomas.

Fraser’s one-woman dance, set to a mixture of nature sounds and Indian/Middle Eastern music, portrayed the eponymous character Rosie as she was drawn toward a bag placed on the stage. In the work, the dancer’s face and body moved through joy, wonder, surprise, longing, and anticipation; then disappointment and disgust and back to joy.

At one point, Fraser’s portrayal showed pain, sorrow, torment, frantic desperation and that she was almost torn in two and prostrated by grief. A small boy in the audience clearly asked his mother if she was happy.

In speaking with the audience afterwards, Fraser said some elements of the dance were new, introduced some after consultation with two dramaturges, Sonia Dumas and Shivanee Ramlochan. Some things she had planned to do had not happened and she had to improvise. The addition of humour was at times inadvertent and at other times planned to release the tension.

She said a lot of the work evolved from asking questions and answering them, or not, such as who is she, where is she from, where does she exist, is she real, is this a dream, is this another dimension, is this in her house, in the here and now?

“I’ve been thinking about the point when things are dying/festering, so the word rose came to mind, and then I think all of us have known a Miss Rosie, an Auntie Rosie; it could be anybody and it goes across the spectrum of peoples. I like the ‘ie’ and it feels like someone you can love,” Fraser said.

Fraser said her process was to “try to listen to myself very deeply and just tune out whatever else the world has to say and do what I want to do.” 
 

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