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Photo: Isabel Sullivan

Fringe Review: Worldly Women

By Mer Weinhold on June 16, 2019

Worldly Women
by Dance Fachin
40min / PG / Dance / Drama

Toronto collective Dance Fachin builds a captivating story with nothing more than their bodies, movements, and a carefully constructed musical score. One of the company’s stated goals is to combine dance with a strong narrative arc, in order to make dance more accessible to casual patrons who may not be familiar with the art form. They very thoroughly succeeded: I know very little about dance, but I loved this show and would highly recommend it to just about anyone.

Both Worldly Women’s page on the Fringe website and the show program provide summaries of the plot, if you’d like to be prepared to understand the dance performance you’re seeing. I saw the show without having read either one beforehand, and thoroughly enjoyed sitting back and watching very talented people dancing very well.

I know very little about dance, but I loved this show and would highly recommend it to just about anyone.

The costume design is simple and elegant, with a different set of costumes for each scene. The stage is bare, and other than a pair of smartphones and some dollar bills there were no props—it’s beautifully minimalist staging.

With few spoken words (a notable exception being the Christian prayer “The Lord’s Prayer” as the chanted musical accompaniment to one scene), it can be tempting to focus closely on details of expression and gesture in order to try to interpret the deeper meaning of the performance. Yet it’s also possible to relax, observe, and understand what’s being communicated without having to overthink all that’s happening onstage.

For me, this show is about different ways that women relate to femininity, and are expected to express it. It’s about seeing the mould one is given to fit into, and what happens when one doesn’t measure up to the ideal. It’s about identifying and embracing different aspects of one’s self, even those that one is told are frivolous or harmful or wrong. It’s about celebrating queer love. In short, Worldly Women was a beautiful, thought-provoking performance of spectacular dancing that I greatly enjoyed.

Worldly Women by Dance Fachin is playing at Academic Hall (133 Seraphin-Marion) until Saturday June 22, 2019. Tickets cost $12 online (plus a $2 processing fee) and at the door. Visit for the schedule and box office info. Read more reviews at