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Reviews

 

Regrets, I’ve had a Few

By Philip Szporer Piaf by Atlantic Ballet Theatre

In the middle of this jittery ballet there is a quiet, intimate sequence that suggests what Piaf, created by Moncton’s Atlantic Ballet Theatre, could be.

 

Bird Bee Bat Attack

By Samantha Mehra Bird Bee Bat Attack

The collaboration of Malgorzata Nowacka and Anjelica Scannura delivered, in one short hour, a variety of movement styles, nuanced performances and a bridge between traditional and contemporary performance traditions.

 

The Chaotic Clutter of Consumerism

By Zoe Quinn Unwrapping Culture

Surprise and a certain thrill are expected with the act of unwrapping, and both were certainly delivered in Pichet Klunchun and Alvin Erasga Tolentino’s collaboration, Unwrapping Culture.

 

Rhythms of Familiar Lovers

By Emma Doran lifeDUETs

Featuring choreography by Benjamin Kamino and Tedd Robinson, lifeDUETs for Karen and Allen Kaeja is a meditation on how the emotional polarities of a long-term partnership are, in fact, not oppositional but cut from the same cloth.

 

Wherefore Gender

By Jordan Arseneault Situations

Sitting in the Agora on opening night between a trained dancer seeing Stamos’s work for the first time and an established sound artist familiar with his oeuvre, I couldn’t help but see Situations as a sequel to Husk, with much of its symphonic elements, but also something new: a twinge of indeterminacy.

 

A Natural Legend

Sleeping Beauty Reimagined for Families By Lori Straus The Sleeping Beauty

The Sleeping Beauty, perhaps one of the most beloved ballets of all, usually takes three to four hours to perform. Younger audiences can easily become bored, even at the most gorgeous and enthralling performance. Enter Canada’s Ballet Jörgen, with a shorter, reimagined version of this classic.

 

Exploring the Manic, the Dark and the Wild

Prairie Dance Circuit By Amanda Bereska Prairie Dance Circuit

Prairie Dance Circuit has become a highly anticipated annual event on the Prairies, featuring dance and other media artists from Western Canada on a tour across the plains to Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg.

 

Pluton

La 2e Porte à Gauche, Danse-Cité and Agora de la danse By Philip Szporer Pluton

At the heart of Pluton (French for Pluto) is something quite unique. If the former planet Pluto is now an allegorical term for being ruled out, these here are dance artists who are not okay with being forgotten about – they are speaking up.

 

The Need to Feel Special

The Principle of Pleasure By Jordan Arseneault Festival Grand Cru

In the kind of serendipity that feels like a blessing from the zeitgeist, Gerard Reyes took to the La Chapelle Theatre the same week as the twenty-fifth anniversary of canonical voguing documentary Paris is Burning.

 

A Mix of Light and Shadows

Dusk Dances 2015 By Mark Mann Dusk Dances

Dance rarely draws big crowds, and when it does, people don’t usually sprint and scramble for front-row seats. But such was the case at the opening of the twenty-first annual Dusk Dances, where 600 people – and many fine dogs – rushed back and forth across Withrow Park in Toronto’s east end to catch the best possible view of all five performances in this year’s program.

 

Dancing on the Edge 2015: Part 2

MOVE: the company and Wen Wei Community Dancers By Pia Lo

Dancing on the Edge (DOTE) has been a mainstay of the Vancouver dance scene for the past twenty-seven years, presenting outstanding work of professional artists from Vancouver and elsewhere while giving an equal platform to emerging artists. For many, their premiere at DOTE is often in collaboration with established professionals that may lead to return appearances in subsequent years. The opportunity to witness an individual artist’s progression over multiple performances, year over year, is another rewarding quality of this festival.

 

Dancing on the Edge 2015: Part 1

Edge 5 and Steppin’ By Lori Henry Dancing on the Edge Festival 2015

Vancouver’s Dancing on the Edge festival brought another strong collection of work this year. On the whole, the mixed programs were well matched each evening, with the longer pieces generally being more cohesive and developed. The Site Works continue to be good entry points for new audiences (as well as a place to debut new or in-progress choreographies).

 

Dancers’ Studio West’s Dance Action Group

By Sarah Todd MYTHBEHAVIN’

As a cultural community, Calgary’s artists seem to create and perform without looming historical precedents, and with it a refreshing lack of self-consciousness. People just do what they want to do. This ethos is evident in the work of DAG – a relatively small group of performers and choreographers from a diverse range of backgrounds who make up the artistic core of Dance Action Lab.

 

The Beginning of the End (and Why it Should Happen Again)

By Sky Fairchild-Waller Apocalypsis R. Murray Schafer

Welcome to the beginning of the end, also known as Apocalypsis, R. Murray Schafer’s two-hour oratorio chronicling the demise of the world and its laboured regenesis. The mood, more than fittingly, isn’t a light one; 1000 singers, musicians, and dancers gather to perform the opening and closing ceremonies of this Olympic-sized pageant of death and rebirth, and you made it into the theatre and to your seat, which was was no small feat.

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