TC Horror Fest Review: Bird of 7 Colors

"Under threat of death, a girl strikes out alone. Searching for the all-knowing Bird of Seven Colors, her way is fraught with danger. But nothing compares to the terror that awaits her at the end of her journey. Dance and storytelling combine for this fearsome retelling of a Puerto Rican folktale."

The titular baleful bird towers over her would-be victim at the conclusion of a surreal epic quest.

In Bird of 7 Colors, director Erin Sheppard teams up with comedy/improv veteran Joe Bozic to craft a one-hour dance drama around the traditional tale of bravery and perseverance in the face of adversity and near insurmountable challenges. Each chapter is told through dance, while Bozic provides the dialogue and narration.

Bird of 7 Colors is a departure from some of Sheppard's past productions, (see 'Tainted Love' and 'Bump in the Night' featuring Courtney McClean,) in that it takes on a more calm and subdued tone. Bozic maintains a soft and almost reticent delivery, like a grandfather finding delight in telling scary bedtime stories to children. His soothing tone belies the inherent darkness and danger of the story, notably during his refrain, "Let me go and I will bring back the wisdom to make you complete, or succumb to that death waiting for me."

(Pictured: Courtney McClean in 2013's fast-paced startlefest, Bump in the Night.)

Visually, this show is considered and calculated. Its frantic undertones are kept at bay by the dancers' practiced, deliberate movements. They weave and tangle together intimately, with intensity, creating the story's many vivid settings with their own bodies and costumes, their bright colors and fluid motions building a world akin to a pastel Pepperland.

While some of Sheppard's past shows have been flurious, Bird of 7 Colors is instead a somber and scaled down tale of a reluctant hero's journey. It reaches out for a sincere and personal connection with its audience, and a combination of Bozic's storytelling, Sheppard's direction and the small troupe of dancers' (Jessica Chad, Sombath Tran, Coralee Kaivo, Caroline Sable, Erin Kennedy and Siri Garnaas) athleticism and theatrics puts that connection easily within its reach.

Bird of 7 Colors continues at the Southern Theater, 1420 S Washington Ave, MPLS, as part of the Fourth Annual Twin Cities Horror Fest.

Purchase tickets online. ($14-15)

Sun, Oct. 25 @ 1pm
Tue, Oct. 27 @ 7pm
Thu, Oct. 29 @ 8:30pm
Sat, Oct. 31 @ 5:30pm