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Reviews

 

Never Stop!

Festival TransAmériques 2016 By Philip Szporer Judson Church is Ringing in Harlem (Made-to-Measure) Trajal Harrell

The premise for Judson Church is Ringing in Harlem (Made-to-Measure) centres around what might happen if the Judson Church postmodern artists (Yvonne Rainer, Trisha Brown and the lot) had gone uptown to Harlem to perform alongside the vogue ballroom performers. (His previous works saw the voguers going downtown.)

 

The Black Piece by Ann Van den Broek

Festival TransAmériques 2016 By Mark Mann

When the lights go down at the beginning of The Black Piece by Ann Van den Broek, they stay down. True to the title, the Dutch choreographer plunges both the audience and the performers into obscurity and leaves us there. The darkness isn’t perfect – exit signs and stair lighting reduce pitch-blackness to deep shadows – but it is enveloping, and surprisingly electric.

 

Existential Reflections

Nous (ne) sommes (pas) tous des danseurs by Katya Montaignac and Sophie Corriveau By Philip Szporer Nous (ne) somme (pas) tous des danseurs.

Katya Montaignac teams with Sophie Corriveau, artist-in-residence at the Agora de la danse, for a round table event. Artists involved included a veritable who’s who, mainly drawn from Montréal’s deep pool of dance talent.

 

Renaissance Reimagined

Ballet Kelowna By Brittany Duggan Renaissance

Renaissance is an evening of contemporary ballet and contemporary music inspired by the music of Renaissance masters, a mixed program between Ballet Kelowna and Toronto’s Continuum Contemporary Music.

 

A Ferocious Dance Toward the Heart

Serge Bennathan and Les Productions Figlio By Naomi Brand Just Words

Just Words by Serge Bennathan reaches unabashedly for the heart with its words but hits the guts with its movement. Les Productions Figlio’s latest evening-length work addresses somewhat rare topics in contemporary dance these days such as love, beauty and art, all without apology.

 

This Is Not a Review

Newton Moraes Dance Theatre By Lee Slinger Testosterone

Titles challenge. They confront the potential audience member with a statement about a work. In his newest work, Testosterone, Newton Moraes uses the title as a challenge.

 

The Inertia of a Heavy Heart

DA Hoskins By Emma Doran Jackie Burroughs is Dead (and what are you going to do about it?)

Heavy-hearted, but not without curiosity, Hoskins’ choreography in this work is captive to gravity, and the dancers (purposefully) crumple under its inertia.

 

Blinded by Sound, Playing at Life

Bill Coleman and Gordon Monahan’s Dollhouse By Victoria Mohr-Blakeney Dollhouse

At first glance, the set of Dollhouse is its own cause for concern, a booby-trapped mess of wires, ladders, mousetraps and sound equipment. Coleman staggers through the chaos, knocking down tables and yanking wires, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake.

 

La Démarquise

Louise Bédard Danse By Mark Mann La Démarquise

Rite of Spring makes an appearance in Louise Bédard’s new work La Démarquise. It’s a small reference, delivered with a wink about a quarter of the way through the 110-minute performance – one of a handful of references to canonical works of art woven into this show.

 

The Beauty of Life in Progress

Program 2 by Ballet BC By Pia Lo Program 2

Ballet BC’s Program 2 featured two world premieres by choreographer Medhi Walerski. Both exemplified the poetic beauty of life in progress.

 

Avec Pas d’Coeur

Maï(g)wenn et les Orteils question intellectual disability and sexual intimacy as a human right By Lucy Fandel Avec pas d'coeur

One of the greatest strengths of Maïgwenn Desbois’ new choreography with her company Maï(g)wenn et les Orteils is that it provokes a level of nuanced and lingering reflection from audiences about their own roles and assumptions.

 

Finding Balance: Text, speech and audio, oh my!

By Kallee Lins Audio Guides

This mixed program featured three choreographies, each one exploring the relationship between movement and language, and the interplay between the sonic and the visual.

 

Sounding Off

Broken Sound2 by Brian Webb Dance Company By Jennifer Mesch Broken Sound squared

In Broken Sound2 by sound and visual artist Gary James Joynes and dancer/choreographer Brian Webb, the entire audience is invited onto the proscenium stage. The audience sits on benches and cushions around the performers and become enclosed within the stage space and the projection panels as the curtain closes.

 

Footsteps Across Canada

A Journey Across Canada's African Diaspora By Colleen Snell Footsteps Across Canada

While the choreographic work varied drastically from one piece to the next, universal themes of loss, tradition, internal struggle, displacement and the challenges posed by communication wove the dances together.

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