Des-Echoes (Daniel Bear Davis and Caro Novella) / Fadeout (Anne-Flore de Rochambeau) 2019 SummerWorks Review

Photo of two dances facing each other wearing coveralls pulled up over their heads

Two contemporary works of contrasting themes are brought to the 2019 SummerWorks Stage.  One humorous and intimate, while the other is isolating and eerie, Des-Echoes and Fadeout are strong additions to the festival.

Starting with only a bar of light highlighting the lower half of her body, choreographer and performer Anne-Flore de Rochambeau, slowly begins to articulate only her hands and fingers in Fadeout. The movement is pained and precise as if to slowly explore the space for the first time.

Fadeout presents an otherworldly creature, slowly investigating its surroundings. The soundscape is a mix of nature recordings, like birds chirping,  blended with stressed radio frequencies and an unintelligible male muted voice.

Previously I had seen this piece at Dance Matters’ Series 3: Into the Fire. The SummerWorks rendition was much stronger, as it had a better build-up from start to finish. Rochambeau takes her time in each section of choreography to thoroughly investigate each choreographic task and level of movement from floor work to standing. Each change builds in speed and choreographic content.

In this viewing, Rochambeau was closer to the audience, in which we can see more details in her movement and facial expressions. This added much to the beauty of the work.

Des-Echoes, choreographed and performed by Daniel Bear Davis and Caro Novella, flips the mood into a humourous one. As a male emerges with his back to the audience, wearing a full janitor jumpsuit, the movement and shape of this being feel slightly off but it quickly becomes clear that it is because another joins him inside the suit.

Novella slowly begins popping out, limb by limb, as the two play with each other’s weight. The partner work is intimate and playful, as they roll around together, investigating the intimacy of flesh and the power of contact.

Des-Echoes is one of the best use of props and costuming I have seen in a while. The performers are also joined on stage by a broom which is used for sweeping, partnering and as a head while the human one is hidden inside the suit. Each time the two are bound to each other, they create interesting entanglements of intimacy and movement.

I love the pairing of these two works despite it being a rather quick performance. Des-Echoes and Fadeout as a double bill is only 50 minutes in length, including the intermission. A quick night out of exciting work in the SummerWorks festival. Check it out!


Des-Echos and Fadeout is playing at the Franco Boni Theatre in The Theatre Centre (1115 Queen Street West).


  • Tuesday August 13th 5:00pm – 6:10pm
  • Friday August 16th 8:00pm – 9:10pm
  • Saturday August 17th 1:00pm – 2:10pm

Warnings: Partial Nudity.

Information on Tickets and Passes:

SummerWorks tickets uses a Pay What You Decide system for every show: $15, $25, or $35, whichever suits your budget. All tickets are general admission and there are no limits to any price level. 

Advance tickets are available up until 3 hours before show time and can be purchased as follows: Online, using the Buy Ticket link found on every show page; In person at the main SummerWorks Festival Box Office the Theatre Centre (1115 Queen Street West) – open August 8-18 from 12pm-8pm. Tickets purchased in advance are subject to a convenience fee of $2.50/ticket. Any remaining tickets will be made available for sale at the performance venue starting 1 hour before show time. Venue box offices accept cash only.

Money saving passes are available if you are planning on seeing at least 4 shows.

Photo of Daniel Bear Davis and Caro Novella,  provided by the company.