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Reviews

 

In the Grip of a Crowd

Hanna Kiel’s Resonance By Erin Baldwin

If you’re looking for clues to deciphering Resonance, the new dance production from Toronto-based choreographer Hanna Kiel, you might start with the name.

 

A Quizzical Assortment

Three choreographers remix Melanie Demers’ Cantique By Philip Szporer

When you let other choreographers reimagine or remix your work, radical shifts can result, bringing into question cultural practice

 

Performing Radical Sincerity

Dana Michel’s CUTLASS SPRING By James Oscar

Dana Michel’s latest serving challenges us to reach into our imaginations to create our own intimate vocabularies while sitting with the work.

 

A Glimmer of Hope

Rodney Diverlus and Syrus Ware’s burn, burned By Valeria Nunziato

Through their original work, burn, burned, Rodney Diverlus and Syrus Marcus Ware present a fictitious futuristic setting following a band of revolutionaries looking to salvage what is left after decades of race-driven war and destruction.

 

Reclaiming Narrative for a Contemporary Audience

Josh Beamish’s @giselle By Rachel Silver Maddock

In @giselle, Josh Beamish takes the tragic romance of Giselle, which dates back to 1841, and inserts a third player, social media, to expose its role in modern-day relationships.

 

Defying the Familiar

dance: made in canada’s Mrozewski Series By Valeria Nunziato

The Mrozewski series at this year’s dance: made in canada festival defy the familiar with Katia-Marie Germain’s Habiter and Josh Martin’s Leftovers.

 

Blending In, Blending Out

Syreeta Hector’s Black Ballerina By Valeria Nunziato

Syreeta Hector’s Black Ballerina bears a loaded title, with an equally weighty repertoire of choreography. At SummerWorks Performance Festival, we were offered a preview of this work-in-progress, her first-solo work, with the full program premiering at The Citadel this fall.

 

That Sweet Spot Between Gallery and Stage

Alexa Mardon and Erika Mitsuhashi’s Tender Engine By Rachel Silver Maddock

Across four evenings this June, VIVO presented Tender Engine, a performance-installation piece co-choreographed by Alexa Mardon and Erika Mitsuhashi. The artists have been in research for over a year through residencies in Vancouver and Halifax, during which they investigated four areas: technology, language, storytelling and “performative expertise.”

 

An Electric Bolt of Messy

Helen Simard’s Requiem Pop By Philip Szporer

Helen Simard explores the life and work of music icon Iggy Pop in her newest creation called Requiem Pop, which tackles the notions of hero worship, fandom and the cultural icons we don’t know but love. The work unleashes an electric bolt of messy, self-destructive Iggy chaos onto the stage.

 

Gogol’s Glitch

Kidd Pivot’s Revisor By Philip Szporer

The co-creators of the bold and distinctive Revisor, Jonathon Young and Crystal Pite, bear witness to themes of deceit, tyranny, greed and corruption in their re-telling of Nikolas Gogol’s The Inspector General.

 

Skin, Pain, Plastic and Paper

Kelly McInnes’s SHINY at the Vancouver International Dance Festival By Rachel Silver Maddock

Just how deep does the damage go? In SHINY Kelly McInnes gets to the guts of this question in a persistent and stealthy topic: the effects of the beauty standards inflicted on women through media.

 

Alien Rituals

10 Gates Dancing’s TRUST at the Vancouver International Dance Festival By Rachel Silver Maddock

The program describes the duet as a “requiem for wood and stone” – a “primitive mystery of vulnerability and transformation.” With or without these descriptions, the setup places us immediately inside some kind of ritual or spiritual journey, though its parameters and significance are unclear.

 

Renaissance, Ritual and Passion

Toronto Dance Theatre’s Persefony Songs By Collette Murray

An inquisitive storyline begins as a pomegranate flips through the air. In response, the ensemble rises to engage in a syncopated choreographic trail.

 

Lonely Elegy

Akram Khan’s XENOS By Philip Szporer

To appreciate Akram Khan, the exalted British dance artist, is to see his fierce spins, angled gestures, intricate patterns and the sublime articulation of hands, fingers and feet. But it also means seeing his moments of soft repose, which give pause.

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