I attended a media preview of this event. All opinions are my own.

Image by David Cooper

I was able to attend Shay Kuebler and Radical System Art’s MOI-Momentum of Isolation, and I enjoyed every aspect of it, including the projection screens, interactive video and sound as well as puppetry. The fundamental concept of the play is the importance of human connection and how we are losing some of that in our modern world. Our eyes are always on our phones, laptops and tablets. We struggle to connect “in real time” and form healthy connections. The play hones in on the self, group and society at large. Although the project officially began during the Pandemic, it initially began in 2018 when Keubler learned that isolation was so much of an issue in the U.K., that they had appointed a Minister of Loneliness. I think most of us experienced isolation to a certain degree during the Pandemic, and so can easily relate to concept of loneliness in the play. It was such a treat, to be able to see such talented dancers on stage (Keiran Bohay, Aiden Cass, Jade Chong, Sarah Hutton, Nicole Pavia, Katherine Semchuk, and Calder White). Since there was not much dialogue in the play, body language and movement was so vital. The dancers were the embodiment of human emotions; just beautiful to watch. The main character of the play only interacts with inanimate objects. When the play starts, Keubler’s character is found at his desk, tethered to his electronic devices and his work. It was a painfully relatable scene, as this is the case for many of us living in this fast-paced and technologically advanced era. My favourite scene was the one in which a character was portraying what it is like to be on a dating app in the current dating climate. They physically swiped on people and it was really eye-opening to see how superficial, daunting and time- consuming it can really be. Instant gratification or disappointment is plentiful but true, meaningful bonds are not.

This was a unique play in the sense that there was so much engaging and eye-catching creativity that went into it. According to The Firehall Arts Centre website, the “Radical System Art (RSA) fuses dance, theatre, and martial arts with interactive technology and design to create impactful performances. The company is guided by a principle of harnessing opposition to find strength and balance: athleticism with artistry, structure with chaos, technique with instinct. RSA believes collaboration is critical to reaching wider audiences. By creating with many unique and diverse artists, RSA looks to build work that speaks to more people. By integrating multiple art forms, company performances seek to balance out the presence of visual design, sound design and physical movement”.
If you, or anyone you know could use a gentle little reminder about being present for those around you and giving the electronic devices a break, check out MOI-Momentum of Isolation.

Tickets: $30-40

Where: 280 E. Cordova St., Vancouver

When: March 6th to 9th, 2024