Every August, Barrage works on new material, and this year they chose to work in the Capitol Theatre because it fit their needs most. Rehearsing there also allowed Barrage a few select performances between rehearsals. Barrage appeared at the Ruth Eckerd Hall’s annual ticket sale day – the Capitol Theatre is owned by Ruth Eckerd Hall – holding a special performance for educators.
Barrage is an eight-man violin group, with five who play fiddle, supported by guitar, drums and bass. They have been described as “Riverdance meets Stomp,” and while this is accurate in describing Barrage’s energy, it does not do justice to the show itself. Barrage provides a modern spin on traditional music, and “it’s a full on dance show, which is kind of like Riverdance,” explains Anthony Moore, one of Barrage’s executive producers and co-creators. However, Barrage also has the “rhythm and pulse of stomp.” Blending a variety of diverse musical styles, Barrage forms a unique, energetic piece of theater. For example, in Animado, Barrage plays everything from traditional Russian music to popular bluegrass tunes; from “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay, to the theme from Napoleon Dynamite. “There’s no one particular influence. We use a wide range of cultural influences,” says Moore.
Performing for a packed house at the Capitol Theatre, Barrage opened with high energy, and only intensified that energy throughout the two hour show. They bring more than just the music, with their rhythm and dancing creating a visual spectacle as well. At one point, the cast even danced a tango while playing it. “We play the violin, but in a fun and engaging way,” Moore explains. “It’s a really rollicking and fun evening … [and] it’s appropriate for all ages.”
Barrage originated when a group of musicians came together in Calgary, in western Canada. “We were fiddlers for lack of a better word,” says Anthony Moore. They wanted to combine movement and focus on their writing skills, as well as explore new influences and styles of music, and so, in 1996, Barrage was born.
There is a possibility of Barrage making the Capitol their annual rehearsal space. “We had such a great time here over the past two weeks,” said Taylor, one of the performers.