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Reviews

A Savvy Program 

By Paula Citron dance Immersion 2005  dance Immersion

Somewhere toward the end of dance Immersion, this writer had an epiphany. No matter how stirring the traditional African drumming and dancing, or how stylish a tap routine, or how attractive the synchronization of energetic b-girls, or how charming the Caribbean folklore, it was the contemporary choreography that gave substance to the evening.  

 

Turning Up the Heat 

By Robin J. Miller ¡BULLA! Hannah Stilwell, Kimberley Cooper, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks

It’s too bad Victoria doesn’t get snow, because it would have been fun to watch it melt under the heat of “¡BULLA!”, the latest full-length show from Calgary’s Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, subtitled “A Loud Cuban Jazz Experiment.” And loud it was. Also raucous and sexy and colourful, and very definitely hot.  

 

A Double Handful 

By Kathleen Smith New Crop of Dancefilms Premiere at FIFA  FIFA (Festival International du Film sur L'Art) 

Montréal’s Festival international du film sur l’art (FIFA) launched its 23rd edition this past March at venues all over town. In addition to profiles of artists, films by artists and documentaries about creative process and art history, FIFA regularly premieres a double handful of dancefilms and docs about dance. This year’s crop was particularly accomplished. 

 

A Quorum of Collaborators 

By Philip Szporer Social Studies/Sciences Sociales  Quorum

The idea for Social Studies/Sciences Sociales surfaced when, back in 2001, Danse-Cité director Daniel Soulières danced with Ziyian Kwan in David Pressault’s work, “Violet”. He came away from that experience with a tenacious desire to unleash a platform for contemporary dancers from Vancouver teamed with choreographers from Montréal. Then he met another terrific, fluent Vancouver dance artist, Susan Elliott. Fellow Vancouverite John Ottmann became the third artist to join the East-meets-West project. (The trio also became known as a new collective, Quorum.)  

 

Vancouver International Dance Festival 2005

By Kaija Pepper Vancouver International Dance Festival Vancouver International Dance Festival

The fifth Vancouver International Dance Festival at the Roundhouse Community Centre took place from March 8-26, 2005 

 

Introspective Expressions 

By Philip Szporer Sa Geste: Sasha Ivanochko and Audrey Lehouillier  Sasha Ivanochko, Audrey Lehouillier

Sasha Ivanochko and Audrey Lehouillier are a study in contrasts. Together on the same bill, they explore the inner lives of women, but also show their differences to good measure. On a triple bill, along with Japanese-based dancer-choreographer Kunie Suzuki, they performed their own solo works at Tangente’s annual celebration of women in dance, SaGeste, a program that coincides with International Women’s Week.  

Mixed Blessings 

By Kathleen Smith Platform 33 in works by Muñoz, Itoh and Bédard  Damian Muñoz, Platform 33, Kim Itoh, Louise Bedard

There hasn’t been a Toronto show in recent memory to spawn as many heated and diverse opinions as the recent Danceworks show featuring commissioned work for a new collective called Platform 33. Audience members on the evening I attended seemed to position themselves all along the spectrum. I love when that happens, because it usually means a chord of some kind has been struck.  

 

Dancers and Gemstones 

By Kathleen Smith CanAsian Dance Festival Program B  CanAsian Dance Festival

Great dancers are like gemstones. Fully experiencing their brilliance can depend on the sensitivity and fit of the setting theyve been given by the choreographer, composer, set designer etc. When everything is up to the standard such artists can inspire, excitement ensues; mess up with the setting and it feels like a crime against art.  

 

Of Loss and Healing 

By Kathleen Smith "Grace" Eryn Dace Trudell

Sometimes, dance is very good at capturing the zeitgeist. Eryn Dace Trudell’s “Grace”, is a memorial to her aunt Grace McDace Barker, who passed away from breast cancer in 2002. It is an overt and intimate treatment of the subject. 

 

Sharing Time 

By Philip Szporer "Lwáza" Zab Maboungou, Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata

In Lwáza (“chatting” in the language of the Kongo people) dancer-choreographer-philosopher Zab Maboungou has created a terrific piece. It’s a mesmerizing work for three dancers and two musicians that challenges the notion of gesture and the meaning of origin and raises the question of accessibility.

 

The Birthday Edition 

By Kaija Pepper Twelve Minutes Max XXX  Twelve Minutes Max

Twelve Minutes Max has had a long haul as a dance series goes. The inaugural 12 MM took place in December 1994 but its roots go back a few years further. Anne Cooper remembers the mixed bill’s precursor, an informal community event held at Main Dance Place in the Arcadian Hall at Main Street and 6th Avenue. It was called Shoeless Saturday because everyone had to take their shoes off before entering the studio. In the early nineties, Cooper danced in one of those shows and, during a telephone conversation, told me she always meant to do another. But it was only now that she had the right project at the right time. 

Taking Turns Telling Tales 

By Kaija Pepper Double Story Crystal Pite, Richard Siegal

“Double Story” is just that – two stories. The first is “The Bouncy Woman Piece” by Richard Siegal, an American; the second, “Man Asunder” by Vancouver’s Crystal Pite. Both highly theatrical duets, performed by Siegal and Pite, feature dancing that is meticulously inscribed in space with long limbs and precise intention. 

 

Poetic Craftsmanship 

By Kathleen Smith "Passare"  O Vertigo, Ginette Laurin

Believe it or not, there are some perks to getting older. For most of us, achieving a semblance of peace of mind finally seems possible after the sometimes-inappropriate mania of youth has passed. For artists, continuous creation over a long period results in work that can’t help having depth; the palette is at its broadest, the decision-making process is at its most refined. Confidence rather than cockiness prevails. 

 

"I was looking at the ceiling and THEN I SAW THE SKY" 

"I was looking at the ceiling and THEN I SAW THE SKY" Nicole Mion

Nicole Mion’s latest work, “I was looking at the ceiling and THEN I SAW THE SKY”, is at once a musing on flight, performance, fear and exhilaration.

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