Edge 2 and 3

Dancing on the Edge 2016 By Rachel Silver Maddock
  • Ziyian Kwan in her own work the neck to fall / Photo by Chris Randle
  • Meredith Kalaman in Lost Object/ive by John Ottmann / Photo by Curtis Stodgell
  • Alex Tam, Tyler Layton-Olson, Ralph Escamillan, Arash Khakpour and Nicholas Lydiate in Dialogue by Wen Wei Wang / Photo by Chris Randle
  • OURO Collective in Kaleido by Tentacle Tribe / Photo by Tanabe + Photography
  • Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg in her own work I can’t remember the word for I can’t remember / Photo by Wendy D Photography

Dancing on the Edge Festival 2016

Vancouver July 7-16, 2016

Edge 2 – July 11

Lost Object/ive ­by John Ottmann
The twenty-minute solo performed by Meredith Kalaman was comical and strange interspersed with sad and anxious moments. Kalaman begins the work upstage right in a hunched position, shifting forward stiffly while describing each isolated movement in a robotic voice; the audience chuckles, and the piece unfolds in a casual yet intriguing series of events: a fluid movement phrase descends into a witty monologue punctuated by corresponding movements; the retrieval of random objects out of a cardboard box sees Kalaman slip back into a robotic and twitchy neurosis, finally descending into a slow dance around the stage with an empty jacket. The piece considers the organic functions of the body and the instability of the mind.

Kaleido ­by Tentacle Tribe for OURU Collective
Kaleido was precise and defined, arranging the bodies of the five OURU Collective dancers – Cristina Bucci, Maiko Miyauchi, Rina Pellerin, Dean Placzek and Antonio Somera – in endlessly fascinating ways. The dancers initiated pulses and waves that passed through the group, leading into geometric lifts and shapes. The choreography highlighted the street dance training of the dancers, whose contemporary movement would spiral off into breaking, hip hop or popping throughout.

Dialogue by Wen Wei Wang
Dialogue featured five young male dancers, all clad in black. The piece exploded with energy and explored “themes of contact, communication and language – both spoken and unspoken,” according to the program notes. The sheer strength and stamina of the dancers was something to behold, as they ran, slid and lifted one another across the stage. Tormented solos resolved through tense group phrases, and I noticed the audience physically exhale during the repeating blackouts. The work was raw and emotional, critically exposing themes of racism, loneliness as well as gender roles.


Edge 3 – July 12

the neck to fall by Ziyian Kwan
This thirty-minute solo by Ziyian Kwan of dumb instrument is “lively dance released inside the body,” as per the program notes. In the neck to fall, the stage was littered with objects – cardboard boxes, stools and plastic– which Kwan danced around, sat on, ate from, stuffed her head inside and moved around the stage. Her opening sequence pairs spastic movements to a bizarre and random soundscape, all done with a keen sense of musicality. Kwan’s physicality throughout the piece was totally committed; her emotions and facial expressions were so thoroughly embodied that she was captivating to watch.

Helmeat by Arash Kapour and Aryo Kapour
Helmeat had dancer Aryo Kapour in a red square taped centre stage with a strange assortment of objects covered in tin foil at its edges. To begin, Kapour enters into the taped space by pulling a tin foil hat over his face, ultimately blinding himself before proceeding to writhe around, using his hands alone to orientate himself. This exploration was followed by a monologue through a kazoo. Some while later, Kapour pushes a shopping-cart-turned-wheelchair in an excruciatingly slow circle. Helmeat is random in its projection, and at times painfully disjointed, but has moments of hilarity. At the end, Kapour’s brother Arash deconstructs the stage as Kapour rolls burger meat from a helmet into balls while facing the audience, and the illusion of any fourth wall between the audience and the performers slowly dissolves.

I can’t remember the word for I can’t remember by Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg
I can’t remember the word for I can’t remember really stood out in Edge 3. Friedenberg’s hybrid dance-theatre style is refreshing and poignant, exposing the audience as well as herself as human – forgetful and imperfect. She stands in a box of light onstage and relates a monologue around boxes, the metaphysical boxes we all have of desire, suppressed emotions, admiration and memories. Friedenberg pokes fun at society’s obsession with technology and loudly embodies the effects of the dopamine, cortisol and adrenaline “fix.” The work is playful and gently critical, engaging and amusing from start to finish.

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