2018 Windsor Fringe Review: Hooked Brings Big Expressive Dance to Windsor

HookedIn its Windsor-Walkerville Fringe Festival debut, Hooked brings a big city expressive dance piece to Windsor. Through contemporary and jazz movement, the Pepper Dance Projects production looks at how seven characters function with their own increasingly addictive dependencies. It’s an expressive style of dance we rarely see in the city, with fluid back and forth movements and realistic gestures bouncing across the stage.

The show begins with the characters swiftly crossing the stage, preoccupied with something. Each preoccupation distracts them from their surroundings and interacting with those around them. We can quickly identify additions to work, drugs, food, love and mobile devices. Lead dancer and choreographer Kristen Pepper performed the role of a businesswoman who was obviously conflicted between work and family. Other dancers had twitches, movement disorders and even anger problems, especially when they were taken away from their addictions.

When you look closer at it, Hooked could easily be a snapshot taken from the streets of New York or Toronto. It’s serious dose of social realism that touches on how people interact with one another and how different people deal with different types of addictions. When the characters are removed from or denied what they’re addicted to, things get a little heated and intense. The longer the dancers go without their crutch, the stronger the symptoms (shakes, anger, breakdowns) occur. It’s obviously a piece trying to showcase, or even foretell, the dangers of addictions of any kind.

It’s well danced, strongly choreographed and interesting to watch, especially here in Windsor. Usually things like this are reserved for bigger cities, but luckily, Hooked brought their Toronto Fringe show to the Rose City. There’s still time to catch it at the Windsor-Walkerville Fringe Festival tonight (July 26) at 8:30pm, Friday (July 27) at 9:30pm, Saturday (July 28) at 1:30pm and Sunday, (July 29) at 4:30pm.