A Soldier’s Tale is an intense & heady experience

Published on: February 21, 2014

Filled Under: Reviews

Views: 1352

Keith Barker as Pvt. John Joseph forefront with Kate Holden and cast in background. Photo by David Hou.


By Lindsay L. Swanson

In A SOLDIER’S TALE, Michael Greyeyes attempts to link the effects of war on soldiers, their communities, and the society of people living within the war, left to deal with the aftermath.

The production is broken into two acts – the first set during World War II, and based in small town Saskatchewan; and the second act is set 50 years later in the Iraq desert.  What is interesting about these stories, however, is how Greyeyes has focused on the forgotten soldiers – the soldier stories that were not teaming with honour, or national pride. These are the stories that were not talked about – most certainly not during the WWII era.

A SOLDIER’S TALE is a contemporary and interpretive dance production. At times it is not the most seductive or attractive of dance numbers, but it is certainly impressive.  As someone who is not well-versed in contemporary dance, I did find the dance numbers long and challenging to decipher in interpretation, however the Company’s talent and the masterful direction is undeniable.

There are so many elements to this production that are pulled from pages that have been left buried for years, and generations. While it is not a secret that soldiers – from any war, any time – faced challenges adjusting to life back home, there are elements – details – that were not discussed, particularly during the WWII era. A SOLDIER’S TALE brings these hidden secrets to the foreground, and attempts to demonstrate how the shrapnel of these secrets impacts everyone they touch.

The production is heavy. Extremely heavy. And the overall effect of the contemporary dance, multimedia, and live music/chanting may leave your head spinning. (I am still reeling from the second act).

However, if you are a fan of contemporary dance, this is a must-see; if you are up for a heavy representation of war, and all the terrible things that come from it, go check out A SOLDIER’S TALE at the Harbourfront Centre’s Fleck Dance Theatre (207 Queens Quay West) for one remaining night, Friday February 22. For tix click here!

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