17C (Big Dance Theater): 2017 Fringe review

17c big dance companyBig Dance Theater has built a reputation of articulate and speculative work, pairing theater and dance to dissect both historical and contemporary ideals. 17c is comical and stark, and the performers of Big Dance Theater unapologetically peel back the layers of triviality, jealousy, and entitlement through the diary entries of Samuel Pepys, a 17th century man yearning for purpose, pen in hand. Bringing the past to the present, 17c navigates complexities in a time that doesn’t feel as distant as one may anticipate.

The dynamic cast dominated attention through monologues and re-enactments of entries, wittily recounting Pepys life as he so devoutly recorded. The singular perspective of man born into patriarchal contentment becomes complicated as his entries were given voices and bodies. Constructed ideas about gender and power were challenged as the cast consciously weaved Pepys through centuries. Seamlessly executed and wonderfully captivating, 17c lends retrospect on Pepys’ life in a way that forces us to observe our own.

[FringeArts, 140 N Christopher Columbus Blvd] September 7-9, 2017; fringearts.com/event/17c/

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