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Reviews

 

Klumzy

Nicolas Cantin with Ashlea Watkin By Philip Szporer Klumzy Festival TransAmériques 2014

Nicolas Cantin seems to like things to percolate. In Klumzy, everything is set on a low simmer. The choreographer embraces a gentleness of spirit – something that he’s adopted in his work since last year’s CHEESE, a piece that grappled with ideas about memory.

 

Frolicking through History

Meg Stuart / Damaged Goods By George Stamos Built to Last Festival TransAmériques 2014

Time flies during American choreographer and dancer Meg Stuart’s masterfully crafted two-hour-long Built to Last. It’s a sophisticated piece crossing boundaries between theatre, dance and performance art. Travelling through time as movement aesthetics shift across eras, and swinging between everyday attitudes and extravagant fantasylands where abstract dance sections are executed with precision, but formality dissolves into moments of humour and vulnerability.

 

Eat All You Want/The Top?

Gearshifting Performance Works By Holly Harris Eat All You Want/The Top?

In her latest offering, the cryptically titled Eat All You Want/The Top?, Jolene Bailie invites her viewers to step into a cake-fuelled world straddling both theatre and dance.

 

Creaturely Empathy: Intimacy, Sensation & Duration

Antonija Livingstone with Jennifer Lacey, Dominique Pétrin, Stephen Thompson By Lucy M. May Culture, Administration & Trembling Festival TransAmériques 2014

Through the backstage area, we tiptoe in our socks into L’Agora de la danse. It has become a de facto gallery space for the performance of Culture, Administration & Trembling. Europe-based, North American choreographers Antonija Livingstone and Jennifer Lacey, with Dominique Pétrin and Stephen Thompson, are at once its curators and its artists.

 

Dancing with the Devil-May-Care

Generations of Dance at Old & Young and Reckless Together (#32) By Marie France Forcier Edition # 32 - Old & Young and Reckless Together

Older & Reckless, veteran dance artist Claudia Moore’s brainchild, is celebrating the launch of its fifteenth season, and the crowd’s appreciation for the long-running series is palpable and contagious.

 

The Subtlety of Solitude in Solitudes Solo

By George Stamos Solitudes Solo Festival TransAmériques 2014

It’s been said that placing classical music in a performance will bring it instant cultural value. It’s a device often used in dance and performance milieus. However, in contemporary dance it can be a problematic choice, as the work will undoubtedly inherit the cultural context of the classical reference and challenge the contemporaneity of the dance.

 

Snakeskins – A Fake Solo by Benoît Lachambre

Benoît Lachambre By Lucy M. May SNAKESKINS Festival TransAmériques 2014

It’s the morning after the closing of Snakeskins, a “fake solo” created by choreographer and dancer Benoît Lachambre, which played for two nights during Montréal’s Festival TransAmériques. Lachambre joined me at Place des Arts for a dialogue about the work and my impressions. When we meet, I take a moment to admire the intensity of his brilliant blue eyes, his long ash-coloured hair and uneven gait. In them, I recognize aspects of the same person who astonished me onstage with both physical endurance and humility. Lachambre is stooped but resilient; a shape-shifter.

 

Enter the Phoenix

tiger princess dance projects By Bridget Cauthery SoloDuet

In her letter from the artistic director, Ng explains the genesis of Metamorphosis of a Solitary female Phoenix and Magnetic Fields, the two pieces in SoloDuet. Metamorphosis first debuted as part of Christopher House’s 12 Solos commissioning project for Toronto Dance Theatre in 2007 while Magnetic Fields, on the other hand, is a new work for dancers Mairéad Filgate and Luke Garwood.

 

(Nevertheless …)

Fujiwara Dance Inventions By Ben Portis EUNOIA

The first choreographic adaptation of Christian Bök’s pièce de résistance, his conceptual prose poem Eunoia (2001), as conceived by Denise Fujiwara is tremendously delightful, witty and entertaining, yet nevertheless … somehow … a letdown.

 

Twenty Years Proud

dance Immersion’s Expressions Now By Marie France Forcier

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of dance Immersion, an organization recognized for its steady engagement in producing, promoting and showcasing dancers and dances of the African diaspora.

 

Blinded by the light

Porno Death Cult By Sarah Todd Porno Death Cult

Porno Death Cult is Tara Cheyenne Performance (TCP)’s fifth full-length work. In an age when research-oriented, formalist movement experimentation is de rigueur in contemporary dance, TCP’s commitment to cross-disciplinary, character-driven performance via narrative and persona is refreshing.

 

Cracking Nuts

By Philip Szporer The Nutcracker Maria Kefirova

Bulgarian-born, Montréal-based Maria Kefirova’s new solo, The Nutcracker, addresses the interdisciplinary cross-fertilization of sound and movement, and the body’s readiness and capacity to absorb and deflect outside interference.

 

TDT Tour de Force

By Ben Portis Eleven Accords

With Eleven Accords, Christopher House seeks a new potential for relational art, trusting in the latent artistic and social ecology of his disciplined company to imbue meaning.

 

Prairie Fire and Ice

The Prairie Dance Circuit in Winnipeg By Holly Harris Prairie Dance Circuit

For the past four years, the Prairie Dance Circuit (PDC) has boldly tackled the question of whether a particular aesthetic unique to Canada’s flatlands exists – or not.

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