Victoria Fringe Festival 2017 – Spiritualarious
Review by Tony Carter – Showbill.ca Staff Writer
August 25, 2017
Spiritualarious is an attempt by creator Amit Solanki to entertain and educate his audience about the origin of yoga. He half-succeeds.
This one-person show also serves as a beginner’s yoga class, one seeking to defy the Capitalist branding war that has birthed fads like “hot yoga,” “beer yoga,” and “martini yoga.” Solanki explains in monologue that he grew up with yoga being something his family practiced, and that it bothers him to see people take that concept and twist it into something completely divorced from the original search for enlightenment and spiritual growth that he knows it as. He possesses an earnest desire to share something important to him. When asked how long he has been performing this show for he responded “for a long time, in bits and pieces. [He] felt like it was time to put those pieces together.”
Unfortunately, the finished product might still need more polish. While very educational about basic breathing techniques (which may leave the uninitiated feeling a bit light-headed) and meditation, Spiritualarious feels like it is missing the “hilarious”. Part of this comes down to Solanki’s delivery and comedic timing, both of which could use more practice. Many of his anecdotes come off as resentful and venomous instead of light-hearted or amusing.
The closest contemporary analogue to Spiritualarious is probably Carmen Aguirre’s “Broken Tailbone,” an autobiographical dance class featured at UNOfest 2017. If Spiritualarious tapped into Solanki’s life story the same way that “Tailbone” did to Aguirre then it could be something truly special.
The Bottom Line
If you have been wanting to learn more about the authentic cultural origin of Yoga and pick up some simple exercises that you can do at home, this show is worth checking out. Just don’t expect a stand-up routine.