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Reviews

 

Cutting to the Chase

By Jillian Groening Chase Scenes #1-58

On June 19, Winnipeg-based choreographer and performance artist Ming Hon took the adrenaline-boosting phenomenon of film to the gallery in an exhilarating new work.

 

Canada Dance Festival 2015

Challenging the Idea of Dance By Mercedes Déziel-Hupé Canada Dance Festival/Festival Danse Canada

The yearly festival serves as a community leader in Canadian dance in order to foster the art form’s growth and its reach, featuring artists from across the country.

 

An FTA Round Up

By Philip Szporer Festival TransAmériques (FTA)

This ninth edition of Montréal’s Festival TransAmerique (FTA) was once again a two-week intensive bringing dominant artists as well as newer voices from the Canadian and international scene together from the realms of dance, theatre and performance. There was an overload of stimulation, from the poignancy and charm of Seoul’s Eun-Me Ahn’s dancing grandmothers and her astonishing company, to Daniel Léveillé’s continued study into personal space and the engagement of the other in Solitudes duo, or Stéphane Gladyszewski’s study Phos, using a playground of technology to probe what’s seen and unseen, as just a few examples of work on view.

 

Living, Breathing, Sensing: 605 Collective

The Sensationalists By Andrea Rabinovitch The Sensationalists

Forget the fourth wall. In the world premiere of The Sensationalists, a collaboration between 605 Collective and Theatre Replacement, the first, second and third wall is also up for grabs. The seventy-five-minute piece explores the relationship between performer and audience, using dance, physical theatre and text while exploring every configuration that a proscenium stage with a lobby can provide.

 

Different Control Measures

By Mark Mann Le Jour Bleu & A Standard of Measure, Except Not Really

In two very different works presented together at Montréal’s Monument-National theatre, the dance presenter Tangente has created an intriguing dialogue on the problem and possibility of control, both in art and in life. The double bill featured Marilou Castonguay’s ten-minute solo Le Jour Bleu, which premiered in Québéc City in 2012, and the debut of Andrew Turner’s sixty-minute ensemble piece A Standard of Measure, Except Not Really.

 

Robinson Repurposed

Tedd Robinson’s FACETS By Mercedes Déziel-Hupé FACETS

The piece is a creative retrospective in which the choreographer explores his recurrent themes of balance, material sculpture and movement, and risk-taking with humour and courage. As introspective solos, it was all the more interesting to see different performers interpret the personal nature of Rokudo, Rigmarole and Redd, nouveau genre.

 

From Point A to B

Peggy Baker’s locus plot By Sky Fairchild-Waller locus plot

While (thankfully) not a physicalized ode to quests for empirical knowledge, locus plot excels as a poetic transposition of chemistry in its humanist and even larger-than-life form, and the beginning of the full-length work illustrates this perfectly.

 

Remote Sable Island brought to life by Mocean Dance

By Shannon Webb-Campbell Close Reach

Wild horses couldn’t drag us away from the world premiere of Sable Island, the first full-length production by Halifax’s Mocean Dance since 2010. Choreographed by Serge Bennathan, one of Canada’s most distinctive voices in dance, who immigrated from France in 1985, Sable Island is deeply emotional, untamable and an elemental dance performance. As the contemporary dance bill promised, Close Reach, an evening sail of dance, theatre and music featured Sable Island and Live from the Flash Pan.

 

Paratopian View

By Kathleen Smith Paratopia

Choreographer and singer Bageshree Vaze first studied classical Indian dance while growing up in St. John’s, Nfld. She has named her recent DanceWorks program of new and remounted works Paratopia. Also the name of the new group dance that closes the evening, the word can mean both “displacement” and “alternate reality”. Collectively, the works on the program acknowledge the ever-evolving nature of Indian dance forms – and of life itself, which has carried Vaze to a new home in Toronto.

 

Ziriguidum Review

By Jacqueline Louie Ziriguidum

The vital, exuberant connection between music and dance is front and centre in Ziriguidum, presented by Calgary’s Decidedly Jazz Danceworks (DJD) and Brazilian jazz dance and music company Cia.Vatá.

 

How to Ride a Tornado

Review of Ravages By George Stamos Ravages

Over the past several years, Québéc City-based choreographer Alan Lake has gained attention locally and nationally for his extraordinary multidisciplinary creations. With his new hour-long quartet Ravages, a surrealistic investigation into bodies encountering natural disaster, Lake brings his work to Montréal’s Place des Arts for the first time and probably not the last.

 

The One and the Many

By Mary Theresa Kelly Vancouver International Dance Festival

Vital Few, excerpts from a work-in-progress, is choreographed and performed by 605 Collective artists Josh Martin and Lisa Gelley. The full-length work is scheduled to premiere next year, forcing dance lovers to wait to see how the work evolves.

 

Cycling Back and Running on Empty

Marathon By Mark Mann Marathon

The arrival of Progress Festival, a new international performance festival in Toronto, took an existential turn for the city’s stage artists, and in particular its dancers and choreographers. Among comparisons to other performance ecosystems around the world, an oddly elemental debate was taking place. What is dance?

 

4 Solos and group

A report from the dance events of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival By Naomi Brand PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

A festival that prides itself on presenting works that take risks, the PuSh festival packed a lot of them into two weeks this winter in Vancouver.

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