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Reviews

 

Le délire domestique

By Philip Szporer Le Délire Domestique

Le délire domestique by choreographer Deborah Dunn is an often absurd piece that is a response to a culture of division and the politics of domestic labour.

 

Surfacing

A Sawdon Dance premiere By Dani Finch Surfacing

You know a performance has captured you when it encourages you to explore your own emotions. Surfacing, a collection of four new solo works by Rebecca Sawdon of Winnipeg’s Sawdon Dance, had me on an emotional roller coaster throughout the performance – and at different points I was both disturbed and elated.

 

Tales of Despair and Cheer

By Mary Theresa Kelly Wag

In a seventy-minute solo, Denise Clarke moves from total despair to life-affirming joy, hitting a hundred shades of feeling and gesture in between and keeping the audience close every step of the way.

 

Soif

O Vertigo By Philip Szporer Soif

Thirty years of existence in a dance company’s life is more than a notable marker; it’s an achievement to celebrate and a time to pause and reflect on how the company’s dances are resonating with younger generations. Ginette Laurin’s O Vertigo hit this milestone this year, and delivered the world premiere of Soif to an appreciative hometown crowd.

 

Cause and Affect

adelheid dance productions’ Elsewhere By Bridget Cauthery elsewhere

Elsewhere, Strauss explains in her program note, is a response to the notion of affect or affect theory. A concept that has been circulating in philosophical spheres since the seventeenth century, affect has become something of a catchphrase within social studies and visual culture in the last twenty-five years.

 

Kiss & Cry

A Charleroi Danses Production By Kate Morris Kiss & Cry

Like so many works being presented today, Kiss & Cry is a multidisciplinary experiment. It is a dance work, a theatre piece, a work of art, a film, a meditation on the body, a love story, a soundscape and an atmosphere.

 

Festival Roundup

Dancing on the Edge: Festival of Contemporary Dance By Eury Chang

Since 1988, the Dancing on the Edge festival (DOTE) has been presented at the Firehall Arts Centre and a growing number of partner venues throughout Vancouver. As the city’s longest-running contemporary dance festival, DOTE serves the professional dance milieu through an eclectic program consisting of full-length, mixed bill and site-specific dance works. This year a mixture of emerging, established, local and visiting dancers took to the stage and, like previous years, there seemed to be no particular or overarching aesthetic. However, it would be safe to say that innovative, experimental and works-in-progress foregrounded the entire event. I ventured out to view a handful of such works, which left me with the some lasting impressions.

 

Stretch

Dancing Between Boundaries at SummerWorks By Kathleen Smith SummerWorks Performance Festival

Dance and dancers were all over this August’s two-week SummerWorks Festival in Toronto – yet they weren’t only dancing. Within the festival framework, the sensibilities of these artists, their respective positions concerning tradition, technology, engagement and cross-disciplinary collaboration, became highlighted in a provocative and energetic way.

 

A Difficult Dance: Radical Ballet and the Politics of Reception

By Marie France Forcier Red Light Green Light: radical ballet

Five guys. Playing games. What is going on in their minds?­ These production taglines for DNA Theatre’s newest radical ballet were the extent of the dramaturgical information available for the audience to process Red Light Green Light.

 

Peggy Baker’s Gallery: Considering land | body | breath at the Art Gallery of Ontario

Peggy Baker Dance Projects By Ben Portis land / body / breath Peggy Baker Dance Projects

In May 2014, Peggy Baker’s land | body | breath was performed in the Thomson Collection galleries of the Art Gallery of Ontario. Reviewer Ben Portis contextualizes the work, by considering Baker’s extensive performance history at the gallery.

 

Test

By Kate Morris Vancouver Queer Film Festival

Frankie, the newest and youngest member of an exciting contemporary dance company, lives in fear and dread. At work he’s mocked by the choreographer and told to “dance like a man.” Outside of work the city offers no relief: a newspaper headline asks “Should Gays Be Quarantined?” and fresh graffiti screams “AIDS Faggot Die!” The year is 1985, the place San Francisco, and the epidemic has just begun. With his bright yellow Walkman clipped on his belt, Frankie retreats into a music-filled trance.

 

Room with Sticks

Tedd Robinson, Ame Henderson and Charles Quevillon By Philip Szporer Room with Sticks Festival TransAmériques 2014

The first thing that struck me about Room with Sticks was the space. The locale, Espace Libre, a former fire station and once home to famed Carbone 14, was transformed into an intimate, open and very white space. (The piece has also been presented in a curling arena.) The back wall was entirely covered over in white paper, while dried branches, sticks and blocks of wood were spread out over the floor. Neon lighting gave the space an artificial glow.

 

No Blessed Light

By Lucy M. May Au sein des plus raides vertus Festival TransAmériques 2014

I leave the theatre after Catherine Gaudet’s Au sein des plus raides vertus needing to move on and to be alone. The same feeling befell me following Je suis un autre, her 2012 piece, which shares many of the same structures and compositional elements. However, the effect of this new piece on me is much darker. It’s as if I have just witnessed an incomplete exorcism.

 

Antigone Sr.

Trajal Harrell By Philip Szporer Twenty Looks or Paris Is Burning at the Judson Church (L) Festival TransAmériques 2014

As choreographer Trajal Harrell tells the audience at the start of the show, his series Twenty Looks or Paris Is Burning at the Judson Church, comes in eight sizes. We were about to see Antigone Sr., which is the large variety. Regardless of the size, the proposition remains the same: “What would have happened in 1963 if a voguer from a New York house ball strutted downtown to Greenwich Village from Harlem to perform alongside the collective of Judson Church postmodernists?”

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