Review | ‘5 + 1’ explores broken hearts and reconnection at Fringe World

5 + 1 | Big Top | SOLD OUT | ★ ★ ★ ★ 

I really loved this show. 5+1 is a contemporary relationship story performed in an eclectic mix of dance, gymnastics, acrobatics and theatre. Kinetica’s Anthony and Fay appear to have attempted to pack in the entire gamut of their relationship into one 45 minute show. The music choices were beautifully woven into the storyline and helped create a more well-rounded narrative. I was emotionally moved by some of their choices.

The opening scene was a wonderful introduction to relationship, telling the familiar story of sleeping in the same bed. Entangled sheets, waking up with no covers and cuddling up are told with skilful, controlled movement and the minimal props of a sheet and a mattress. The portrayal was beautiful and elegant.

The show moved to the story of one partner supporting the other in their journey to discover their identity and life path. I was again impressed by the beauty of the chosen movements between these two. The storyline moves to tell the story of broken hearts and reconnection. There’s humour too as they move between playful and serious

I was particularly moved by the depiction of a couple exploring and celebrating the non binary aspects of themselves. Their bodies appeared to unite together as they tumbled and swung and twisted on the aerial straps together. It gave the impression of a couple who see and love the core of each other, a couple who seek each other’s truth.

The show started as a storyline, however, I was a little confused when we reached the sleepy girlfriend routine. The storyline genre morphed into a moving tableau of different aspects or facts about the couple. The structure of the show moved back and forth between these two genres of storyline and moving tableau. There’s a short, sharp aerobics number quickly followed by some body building action. They’re competitive with each other and this spurs them on to do better. He cleans up after her throughout. There’s a repeated theme of partners supporting each other. A couple of the dance routines were longer than necessary, but overall, it was a very entertaining show that I thoroughly enjoyed.

I recommend seeing this show. Ballet and breakdancing are among the diverse array of dance styles seamlessly choreographed together. Their strength, agility and grace are impressive. I look forward to any future shows they create together.

5 +1 is now sold out. For tickets and more information for what’s on at Fringe World, head to

Halimah Halse is currently freelance writer and marriage celebrant. She has been involved in the arts, politics and LGBTQI+ communities for many years.

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