Reviewed by on    Musical Theatre, Ottawa Fringe 2013, Summer Theatre 2013  

Passages  is a dance featuring the plight of the Scots in the 18th century. It is based on historical facts and encompasses events of everyday, happy life in the highlands in Scotland, war between the British army and supporters of the Jacobites in Scotland, atrocities caused by the overpowering British Army, and finally a trip to Canada. Brief instances of storytelling are included in the performance, but it is the dance that carries the audience through the history of the first inhabitants of the harbors of Cape Breton, Pictou and others.

This is a heartwarming show presented by a group of good and energetic dancers. Their dancing skills vary, but it does not take away from the performance as a whole. What they lack is acting lessons. Their facial expressions don’t follow the drama of the narrative. Still, there are some scenes where the talent was evident. The scenes on the boat, by example, are marvelous. The exhaustion, the illness, death, everything is very convincingly conveyed. Beautiful direction gives it a photographic feel. Here, the history is arrested in the moments of the passage and framed exquisitely as a memento for future generations.

The charming choreography can be improved by better connections between the scenes, and shortening the pauses between parts of the dance. Storytelling and dance could be intertwined more naturally, but on the whole, it was a pleasure to watch these charismatic dancers. No wonder that audience loved them!

Choreographed by Andrée Charlebois

Directed by Jenn MacQuarrie

Costumes by: Danielle Charlebois

Performers: Kalene Debaeremaeker, Emilie Bradley, Brigitte Charlebois, Stephanie Chiasson, Sultanna Krispil, Emily Moreau, Marina Ridley, Amy Shelton Andree Charlebois, Emi Keenan, Jenn Macquarrie, Karine Mayers

Production: Caithream Celtic Dance Fusion