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Reviews

 

Shadows Against a Sunset

pataSola dance’s Rift By Olivia C. Davies

Responding to the ongoing worldwide struggle of violence against women and girls, pataSola dance has created a theatrical performance work that pays homage to victims and survivors, while offering a transformative experience of surrender and sanctity.

 

Blurry Reverie, Retinal Rivalry

Dana Gingras’s anOther, in collaboration with Sonya Stefan and Group A By Philip Szporer

The arrival of anOther, by Montréal-based choreographer Dana Gingras, in collaboration with Sonya Stefan and Group A, signals a turning point in the intersection between dance, media and an immersion into cosmic speculation and sci-fi realm. The work is ambitious in its conception and execution, where nothing is quite as it seems.

 

“Story-Being”

Nova Bhattacharya’s Decoding Bharatanatyam By Brannavy Jeyasundaram

The spirit of Decoding Bharatanatyam imitates the moments preceding the show – fluttering with discovery, while anchored in movement tradition.

 

When Representation (Almost) Becomes the Norm

Contemporaneity 2.0 at Progress Festival By Molly Johnson

Contemporaneity 2.0 is a curating and presenting series with an aim of “unsettling the widespread use of ‘contemporary’ as describing European and white American theatrical dance.” The series opened with Gitanjali Kolanad’s Gandhari. Using Gandhari, a mythological character from the Mahabharata and the martial art form of kalaripayatuu as dual channels of influence and expression, the work is an examination of loss and its effects on the body.

 

What I Saw and How I Felt

Aria Evans and Lilia Leon's Prevailing Voices By Grace Smith

Prevailing Voices features link, choreographed and performed by Evans, and Perdida, choreographed and performed by Leon and co-written with charles c. smith. The solos come together in a show about identity exploration and female self-empowerment.

 

Discovering That “Little Girl”

Claudia Chan Tak’s Bienvenue chez moi, petite Malgache-Chinoise By James Oscar

Our particular moment could perhaps be qualified as one of the strides of disjuncture and difference across the country, but perhaps most acutely in Montréal. Claudia Chan Tak’s new work Bienvenue chez moi, petite Malgache-Chinoise speaks to this disjuncture of identity politics.

 

Shadows, Portraiture, Mime and Velvet

Four works old and new at 3,2,1 Dance! By Lori Straus

3,2,1 Dance! is a contemporary dance performance of four pieces, with choreography by Robert Desrosiers, Robert Glumbek, Jasmyn Fyffe and Tedd Robinson.

 

Bgirls, Body Image and Being "Bossed Up"

that “F” word by SaMel Tanz By Aparita Bhandari

After SaMel Tanz won the a spot in last year’s Toronto Fringe Festival, which is programmed by a lottery system versus a juried selection, they started talking through ideas with other women dancers they have collaborated with in the past, Hart told me in a phone conversation several weeks before the show. Feminism – or the way many of the dancers were navigating their lives as women, dancers or not – was something they kept coming back to. The result was a show that featured moments in these young women’s lives told through movements from an assortment of dance forms – contemporary, hip hop, even a bit of Argentine tango.

 

New Year, New Awakening

Soulful Messiah’s fifteenth year By Collette Murray

Ballet Creole opens the holidays by intersecting the Toronto theatre community and the NextSteps contemporary dance series with its annual seasonal ritual – Soulful Messiah. The performance is Artistic Director and Founder Patrick Parson’s choreographic concept of navigating different emotional stages of life and spirituality and how one copes through its peaks and valleys.

 

Hauntings and Bleeding Hearts

Reflections on Kayoi Komachi/Komachi Visited and a crash course in Noh theatre By Heidi Specht

Kayoi Komachi/Komachi Visited is an ambitious new chamber opera that blends Japanese Noh theatre and western classical music. Produced by TomoeArts, the work is a collaboration between artists from Japan and Vancouver. The story combines two Noh plays about the renowned ninth-century Japanese poet Ono no Komachi, as well as five of her original poems.

 

Provocative Impressions

Skeels Danse’s Rose of Jericho By Philip Szporer

Philip Szporer offers this follow up to his review of Skeels Danse and Tentacle Tribe – “Sizing Up a Double Dose of Summer Dance.” At the time of publication the works were still in progress. This completed version, presented by Danse Danse, allows for view of the piece in its mature form.

 

Risqué Ballet, Risking Clarity

Alberta Ballet’s Dangerous Liaisons By Fawnda Mithrush

Mounted by Alberta Ballet in 2008, Dangerous Liaisons is an epistolary exchange of manipulation, betrayal, greed and threats of public shaming: the story is fraught with ugly intentions and lurid schemes, told mostly in letters between two ex-lovers attempting to humiliate each other.

 

On Double-Touch and Performing Objects

Deanna Peters’ META By Rachel Maddock

META showcases Deanna Peters’ unabashed personal style and, with collaborators Justine A. Chambers and Kim Sato, explores the complexity of the human body and its potential for connectivity within and without its physical limits. The work delves into its topic from two angles: exploring the human body first, then placing it in relationship to objects and other bodies.

 

A Cosmic Kind of Minimalism

Dreamwalker Dance Company’s Dual Light and a call to criticality By Molly Johnson

When introducing her new work, Andrea Nann is direct and affecting and serves to recast the stage as an “outer space” – a place between celestial bodies and also human ones. The work is part of DanceWorks 40th anniversary season.

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