Walking into the Atlanta Fringe Festival’s REVEAL party was like stepping back in time and into an old fashioned carnival. Ambient + Studio in Mechanicsville proved to be an ideal location on this cold winter’s night. Cotton candy, dart throwing, popcorn, bean-bag tossing, and other goodies were available for the cost of one or two tickets. If this is indeed a taste of what to expect from the Atlanta Fringe Festival, May 9 through 13, it will certainly be a lot of fun.
Bringing attention to Atlanta’s inaugural Fringe Festival is what this event was all about. The five-day festival will stretch over five venues and feature 25 eclectic acts from not only Georgia, but California, Oregon, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, Indiana, New York, Tennessee, and even Italy. The nontraditional performances will include modern dance, drama, comedy, circus acts, clowns, cabaret, and opera. The folks from Twinhead Theatre have organized the event, and Diana Brown, executive director of the Atlanta Fringe Festival, read the names of the fortunate selected performers.
The Hot Toddies Flaming Cabaret blew me away. The girls were all beautiful, talented, flexible, and athletic. Sadie Hawkins was amazing on her suspended ring, while Emerald dazzled on the silks. Other members posed with umbrellas, popped balloons off each other and acted out an intriguing marionette sequence.
Dancers from the House of Tribes performed nearly continuously for the entire night, with the Hot Toddies taking turns performing in the background and periphery. It was a busy night that kept party-goers engaged for the whole three hours. And Zoetic Dance Ensemble jumped in to lend an additional segment of engaging entertainment.
It will be interesting to see how Atlanta accepts the inaugural festival. There is no clear headliner to draw crowds, and there is no central theme unifying the acts other than being uncensored and nontraditional. Will people drawn to dance be turned off by circus clowns? Will cabaret fans reject the spoken word and poetry? The acts at the REVEAL party certainly had different levels of artistry and talent. That said, all acts were free to perform and interact as they desired, and their passion for performance kept the night moving along quickly. Hopefully the energy drawn from this diverse range of expression will be sustained over the five days in May.
Dodge & Burn is a series of photo essays documenting local culture with a focus on artful imagery, movement, and light. Check BURNAWAY’s homepage for new photography every week, and watch our Flickr account for regular updates!