The Dance Teacher
dir. Gerard Williams
presented by Club XY
The Dance Teacher follows the case of Justin Belmar as he is accused of a shocking crime, but don’t expect to be provided with all sides of the story. Throughout the 60-minute play, Williams tackles the sensitive issue of child sexual abuse, and also reflects on themes like justice, family and mental health. Different angles of the same story are employed as well as dissonant voices and different opinions from characters. The audience receives only fragments of the situation.
Just like in real life, it’s your job to fill in the gaps.
The audience sits in a semi circle and most of the action happens in the space between as opposed to a traditional stage. You won’t be able to see everything, since the actors sit amongst the viewers, and the character seated right beside you in the spotlight might be interacting with someone across the room.
Just like in real life, a criminal may always be near.
His body acts as an additional character.
Dimmed lights, candles and drinks (why not!) set the atmosphere and immerse you in the play. Actor Joey Munroe plays Justin, and is terrific in the part. His body acts as an additional character thanks to his incredible use of body language. The supporting cast also do a great job, though most of the characters are not as deep as the main role.
Following the conclusion of the performance, there is a round of discussion about the play with the cast and the director, which I found was a great opportunity to answer any lingering questions that came up during my experience.
Even though it tackles a sensitive theme, The Dance Teacher is a good call for those looking for a cultural activity. I definitely recommend checking it out before the show closes this weekend.
Brazilian journalist currently based in Vancouver.