logo

BC

 

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. 

 

Paper, Fire and a Dying Swan 

By Kaija Pepper "A Fabulous Disaster" Denise Clarke

For most of “A Fabulous Disaster”, Denise Clarke wears a white paper jumpsuit, with a white hood covering her head. Her costume puffs out around her, making her look bigger than she really is. Clarke’s body language, too, is bigger, more expansive.

 

Techno-Divinity? 

By Kaija Pepper "Grace" Joe Laughlin, jamie griffiths

Grace, it would appear, is a rich state of being. According to the traditional hymn, “Amazing Grace”, “ ‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear/And grace my fears relieved&.” We say grace before a meal to show thankfulness. The ability to move gracefully is an important skill for a dancer.  

Running Wild 

By Debbie Blaire Running Wild The Holy Body Tattoo  

“Running Wild” by choreographers Noam Gagnon and Dana Gingras was an evening of postmodern angst, featuring short dance performances created by Holy Body Tattoo artistic directors and dancers Dana Gingras and Noam Gagnon for themselves and dancers Day Helesic and Blair Neufeld.

 

Thinking/Moving -- Moving/Thinking 

By Kaija Pepper "I Seem To Be A Verb" Susan Elliott  

There are a lot of ideas floating around in Susan Elliott’s first full-length choreography, “I Seem To Be A Verb”. Not all of them surface, and the choreography is probably many works in one. Almost managing to hold the hour together is an interesting subtext: the act of creation, as experienced by a choreographer still getting used to the job. Examining the artist’s role is a legitimate concern, if a trifle inward-looking.  

 

Chamber Ballet 

Coppélia Bengt Jörgen, Ballet Jörgen Canada

On February 28th, Toronto’s Ballet Jörgen Canada made a stop in Coquitlam, British Columbia, a suburb thirty minutes east of Vancouver, with its production of “Coppélia”. The second-to-last stop in a tour of smaller communities around BC, this performance of “Coppélia” was a rare dance event for the Evergreen Cultural Centre (typically home to theatre and music), an intimate, 250-seat theatre opened in 1996.  

 

Ballet in the Vernacular 

By Kaija Pepper The Magic Flute Mark Godden, Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet

Mark Godden’s “The Magic Flute”, with its mix of classical ballet and contemporary cultural references, is great fun. Not just for the work itself, but also because of the reactions of the audience. To hear so many chuckles and gales of laughter at the ballet was a pleasure.  

 

Of Toddlers, Maidens and Women 

By Robin J. Miller Three Flights Up Lynda Raino, Constance Cooke, Denise Lieutaghi

In the grey drizzle of a typical January on the West Coast, Victoria’s three best-known choreographers each took thirty minutes to prove that modern dance likes to tell stories just as much as classical ballet does.  

 

A Muted Debut 

By Kaija Pepper Closer to the Audience Hanna Kiel

A third modern dance company, Choom Hanna, made its Vancouver debut this season with “Closer to the Audience”, choreographed by artistic director Hanna Kiel (the other two are Wen Wei Dance and Crystal Pite’s Kidd Pivot).

 

The Fleeting Ecstasy of Youth 

By Kaija Pepper Risque (Risk) Paul-André Fortier

Oh, the energy! The six young dancers in Paul-André Fortier’s “Risque (Risk)” have energy to burn. They dance as if the fiery, impassioned experience is the only one worth having. The rest is all ashes, or waiting. 

 

TRIALOGUE: Tap Dancing Swans and Other Signs of Intelligent Life 

By Imogen Whyte , Mary Theresa Kelly Uncollected Work Crystal Pite, Kidd Pivot

Crystal Pite’s new show Uncollected Work, by Pite’s recently formed modern dance company Kidd Pivot, is presented in two parts and bravely adopts the notion of the creative process as thematic material.

 

A Wealth of Influences 

By Kaija Pepper Tao (The Way) Wen Wei Dance

It’s the individual movement that stays with you: bodies, male and female, unfurling legs and arms, flattening their torsos forward, winding and reaching like exotic plants trying to face the sun or growing in all directions in fast motion right before your eyes. 

Humour, Words and Some All-Out Dance 

By Kaija Pepper Dancing on the Edge Festival 2003 Dancing on the Edge Festival

The fifteenth annual Dancing on the Edge, presented by the Firehall Arts Centre in Vancouver from July 3rd through 13th, was a remarkably mature edition.

 

Everything Except Time 

By Kaija Pepper Sheepman Dreams Kokoro Dance, Barbara Bourget, Jay Hirabayashi

Kokoro Dance’s “Sheepman Dreams” is an hour-long submersion into the deep, dark consciousness of a long sleep. The slow, earthbound movement traps the dancers and audience in its own unnaturally extended sense of time and space.  

 

Martial Arts Meets Sea Shanty 

By Kaija Pepper Cyclops battery opera, Lee Su-Feh, David McIntosh

“Cyclops” is a loose compilation of myths and imagery about the sea, created by battery opera co-directors Lee Su-Feh and David McIntosh.  

A (re)View of "Quest" 

Quest Byron Chief-Moon, Karen Jamieson

This review was submitted in response to the postings below by Lindsay Zier-Vogel, who is exploring the integration of poetry into her writing about dance. See this author’s response to Zier-Vogel’s writing under the “Of Wishes and Driftwood” link. 

 

A Cerebral Take on a Swirling Tale 

By Kaija Pepper Scheherazade John Alleyne, Ballet BC

Vancouverites had to wait until mid-November for the ballet season to open this year, when Ballet British Columbia premiered artistic director John Alleyne’s “Scheherazade”.  

LISTINGS THIS WEEK