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Reviews

 

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.  

 

Dance, Drama and Drumming 

By Kathleen Smith Middle Passage: A Journey from Africa to the Americas COBA (Collective of Black Artists)

A warm embrace on a cold, damp night was COBA (Collective of Black Artists)’s gift to Toronto audiences with their recent show, “Middle Passage”, at Harbourfront’s Premiere Dance Theatre.

 

Sepia Snapshots: A Poetic Response 

By Lindsay Zier-Vogel Old Country, Resistance Kaeja d'Dance

A response in poetry. 

 

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.  

 

A Canadian Experience from Paris to New York  

By Mistaya Hemingway Les Boreades Édouard Lock

In March of last year, an operatic event in Paris sent shock waves through the international arts scene, but barely made a ripple in Canada. The production was so riotously received in Paris, that one evening the audience had to be reprimanded by the Maestro for their behaviour. 

 

Truth and Narrative: New Dancefilm Releases 

By Kathleen Smith Recent and upcoming broadcasts on CBC and Bravo! Allen Kaeja, Mark Adam, Moze Mossanen, Charlie Cahill, Veronica Tennant, Édouard Lock

Finding the choreographic truth in dance on screen – generally devoid of text, narrative or other useful linguistic signposts – is sometimes a tricky business. The creators of a handful of important dancefilm projects, just out or soon to be broadcast, manage to frame their truths to greater or lesser degrees.  

 

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.

 

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 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.  

 

Wrestling with Memory 

By Bridget Cauthery Autobiography: Chapters One through Five Gerry Trentham

Gerry Trentham is a creator of moments. One of my all-time favourite moments in contemporary dance came courtesy of Trenthams 1998 work “Cathedral”. And so I went to “Autobiography: Chapters One through Five” expecting moments. I was not disappointed. 

 

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).

 

Intellectually Playful Dance 

By Kathleen Smith Sly Verb Christopher House, Toronto Dance Theatre

In the intellectually playful world of Christopher House, dance is usually just one of many ideas. House regularly wraps his full-length works in layers of text and theatrical imagery to express a very catholic curiosity about history, science, art and life.  

 

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. 

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