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Montréal 

 

Dancing the Architecture 

By Philip Szporer "Full Time at the Belgo" Lin Snelling

Lin Snelling and her assembled troupe did a fine job of imagining the Belgo building in “Full Time at the Belgo” (“FTATB”). The stage for the innovative site-specific dance project was the vast, six-storey fixture itself, located at Saint Catherine Street West and Bleury. Dancers explored the architecture of the building and their bodies, and the public was invited along for the ride.  

 

Fierce Courage 

By Fritzraven Sky “Speed” Suzanne Miller, Allan Paivio, Magali Stoll, Karsten Kroll

Montrealers received a singular invitation to the dance last month from Rafik Sabbagh, artistic director of Transatlantique 2005 (September 19th through 24th). The six-day moveable feast featured some leading lights of the past decade, and the premiere of Suzanne Miller and Allan Paivio’s stunning new work, “Speed”, danced to transcendent perfection by the unforgettable duo of Magali Stoll and Karsten Kroll… *This review was delayed due to unforseen circumstances. 

An Act of the Heart 

By Philip Szporer "Liberamae" Louis-Martin Charest

The night I arrived in the lobby of the Monument National for the performance of Louis-Martin Charest’s new work, “Liberamae”, I was taken aback by the crowd that had assembled for the performance. Montréal establishment types, in pearls and fitted suits, were shoulder to shoulder with folks from both the ranks of the ballet and contemporary dance communities. Everyone seemed to take great delight in being there for the show. 

 

Festival de theatre des Amériques 

By Philip Szporer "100 Rencontres", "In Side" & "Aura" Benoît Lachambre, Par B.L.eux, Stéphane Gladyszewski

“100 Rencontres” by Benoît Lachambre, Par B.L.eux May 25-29, 2005 Société des arts technologies (SAT) “In Side” & “Aura” by Stéphane Gladyszewski May 30-31, June 1-2, 2005 Tangente  

 

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.)  

 

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.  

 

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.

 

Apricot Trees Exist  

By Philip Szporer "Apricot Trees Exist" Roger Sinha

Roger Sinha’s new work for six dancers, “Apricot Trees Exist”, which opened at the Agora de la danse, is reflective, but nonetheless removed from the personal. Now more than ever, the Montréal-based choreographer seems concerned with breaking away from the labels that may have described his work in the past.  

 

Elastic Charisma 

By Philip Szporer "Slicing Static" Victor Quijada, Rubberbandance Group

Rubberbandance Group’s “Slicing Static” explores dance and theatre, working thematically with the insecurity and the uncertainty of our lives. Choreographer Victor Quijada warms up the audience members as soon as they enter the big open theatre space of Usine C, a former jam factory in the city’s east end that is home to the dance-theatre company Carbone 14.

 

Deconstructing Hitchcock 

By Philip Szporer "Blackmail" Deborah Dunn, Trial & Eros

“Blackmail” is Deborah Dunn’s first full-length choreography since “The Birds”. Here, she isn’t pirating, but rather is inspired to deconstruct another Alfred Hitchcock film.

 

Inscrutable Reflections 

By Philip Szporer "Narcisse en Silence"   Mariko Tanabe Danse

In Greek mythology, the beautiful Narcissus discovered his image in a pool, fell in love with himself, and not being able to find consolation, died of sorrow by the same pool. While the myth may be imprinted in our collective unconscious, Montréal-based dancer and choreographer Mariko Tanabe’s “Narcissus” is hardly conventional.  

 

Expressive Geometry  

By Philip Szporer Adela, Mi Amor José Navas, Compagnie FLAK

Inspired by the writing of Spanish playwright Federico Garcia Lorca, and in particular his most political dramatic work “La casa de Bernarda Alba”, José Navas finds common ground with the playwright in that he wanted to respond to what he calls the “non-dance” that he sees produced in the Québec milieu.

 

Urban Dance: Concertized 

By Lys Stevens DNA: Definitions Non-Applicable - Urban Movements, Images and Sounds  K8 Alsterlund, Sarah Febbraro, Sophia Gaspard, 4Temps, Nicholas Leichter, Serge Takri, Ghislaine Doté

For the second year running Tangente has collaborated with Montréal, arts interculturel, and a third presenter, this year the Gesu, centre de créativité, to frame this particular theme in dance creation, which is emerging in the Montréal contemporary dance scene.  

 

Unplugged and Inside-Out 

By Philip Szporer Débranché PPS Danse

Fashioned not unlike a television reality show, “Débranché”, PPS Danse’s new production, evokes the highly disposable but hugely popular genre that drives commercial television worldwide.

 

A New Contour 

By Philip Szporer Margie Gillis 30th Anniversary  Margie Gillis

Audiences probably watch Gillis work differently from the way they watch other kinds of dance. Many come in awe, ready to receive the work with reverence and devotion. At the recent anniversary concert, for example, one middle-aged man a few rows ahead of me looked like he was ready to fling himself on stage (he didnt), but he did rush to throw his “billet doux” at her feet.  

 

A Middle Eastern Take on "Le Sacre"  

By Philip Szporer L'Oeil et la nuit Motaz Kabbani

Motaz Kabbani is still making a name for himself on the Canadian dance scene, and now he has done something somewhat daring and unusual that should garner attention.  

 

LOVE ME: Cinderella, Astroturf, red sequins and dancing men  

By Marie Claire Forté Celle qui, dit-on, aurait perdu sa chaussure (Cendrillon) Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Stijn Celis

How much can you renew a traditional fairy tale? Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal and Belgian choreographer Stijn Celis answer with “Celle qui, dit-on, aurait perdu sa chaussure (Cendrillon)”.

Alchemy of a Dance Festival: FIND-Lab Part 2 

By Kathleen Smith Festival international de nouvelle danse  Festival international de nouvelle danse 

The second part of this year’s edition of FIND was characterized by unusually fine weather outdoors, uneven programming indoors and an absolute obsession with technology everywhere you looked. Could these three elements possibly be related? 

 

Searching for Dance: FIND-Lab Part 1 

By Philip Szporer Festival international de nouvelle danse  Festival international de nouvelle danse 

From high culture venues to warehouse-styled art spaces on Montréal’s tenderloin, Festival international de nouvelle danse (also known as FIND-Lab) audiences had the opportunity to witness in real-time Gertrude Steins adage that “great art is irritation”.  

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