With a brightly colored dress and some adorable avocado socks strolling into the room, I knew ‘IO Ballo’ was going to be filled with many moments of excitement. Slowly finding my initial guess wasn’t wrong, I began smiling and continued to smile throughout the duration of the 30-minute show. A good time for all ages, this show was well crafted with great comedic mime acting, free flow dancing, and a little bit of play with musical cups. Definitely a show that I would recommend to anyone who is just looking to have some fun, this was a great pairing with its Double Feature.
— CHRISTINA W. RICHARDSON, PortFringe 2019 Review Team
From the first awkward moments on stage in this delightfully absurd physical comedy performance, Liese the Clown is asking the audience to participate. Even before her singalong element, she asks us, without words, who she might be and why she might be there. Ia Ballo is a mystery, wrapped in physical comedy. Liese explores the world she has been dropped into, a random collection of household objects and tidbits of song, all in foreign languages. As she does, the audience is invited to try to discern the rules of her environment along with her. The stage becomes a sandbox for Liese, a place to experiment using her ample skills as a dancer, clown, and facial Io Ballo a cartoon come to life. Ultimately, Liese is desperate to impress us, despite the strange circumstances she finds herself in, and this desperation wins over. Weird, random, and yet carefully executed by Liese, Io Ballo is a family-friendly jaunt into nowhere with a charming puppy-like clown. For fans of: Chaplin, Jaques Tati, water glasses, Warner Brothers cartoons.
— ALLEN BALDWIN, PortFringe 2019 Review Team
Hey. Hey you. Yeah, you in the red hat. I see you sitting there thinking about language, how you got one and you’re American so duh, that’s the American tongue. In the phantasmal Constitution in your mind, it’s official. But consider this: your rounded-off English is just sounds from a throat, which in turn is the result of a gesture. The gesture comes first. Parts of you moved (hidden parts!), and all of us watching and listening agree on what it means. So do you really need the words? Do you even necessarily need to make a sound? If you knock over a cup and then chase after it—your hands like panicked mice—even as it rolls off the table, as if the spill and the pursuit were part of the same gesture: what possible use could your inherited American words have? Maybe you should be paying closer attention to what you’re doing instead of worrying what language the folks next door might speak.
— DOUGLAS W. MILLIKEN, PortFringe 2019 Review Team
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