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Reviews

 

The Refreshing Baroque 

By Kaija Pepper “Timber/Timbre” Joe Laughlin

It’s nice to be surprised by an evening of dance, though the more you see, of course, the less likely that is to happen. “Timber/Timbre”, by Joe Ink company’s Joe Laughlin, looked set to be a quiet trio, and there was little fanfare preceding its premiere midway through the Vancouver International Dance Festival.  

 

M.Talk.2: a conversation between critics 

By Kaija Pepper, Philip Szporer M.Body.7 Margie Gillis

Writers Philip Szporer from Montréal and Kaija Pepper from Vancouver both saw M.Body.7 in their respective cities. Here, they compare their notes.

 

Silence / Light 

By Penelope Ford Portal Peggy Baker Dance Projects

It seems the momentum of Peggy Baker’s thirty-five-year dance career is still gathering speed.  

 

Indigenous Dancelands 

By Melanie Florence “The Threshing Floor” Kaha:wi Dance Theatre

On the night of the worst snowstorm of the year in Montréal, I trekked through the sleet and wind to a small dance space called Tangente to see the touring performance of Indigenous Dancelands, a program of three works by aboriginal Canadians: Gaétan Gingras performing “Mémoire de sang”; Michelle Olson and Kimberly Tuson (Raven Spirit Dance) in “Songs of Shär Cho”; and Santee Smith and Michael Greyeyes (Kaha:wi Dance Theatre) in “The Threshing Floor”.

 

Witnessing Moments 

By Holly Harris “Struck” Brent Lott, Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers  

“Struck”, Artistic Director Brent Lott’s new work for Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers (WCD), examines the power of the “aha”: those random flashes of insight in which – if you’re lucky – you suddenly gain wisdom about past events or choices you have made in life.  

 

Creating a Sense of Occasion 

By Kaija Pepper “The Four Seasons” John Alleyne, Ballet British Columbia

Ballet British Columbia was once a serious little company that prided itself on its spare black-on-black repertoire, but these days it aims to create a friendlier sense of theatrical occasion.  

 

Peter Chin: ethno-choreographer  

By Megan Andrews “Transmission of the Invisible” Peter Chin, Tribal Crackling Wind

The inimitable Peter Chin is known for his multi-disciplinary work and particularly for his interest in Asian cultures and dance forms. The Jamaican-born, Toronto-based choreographer’s latest work, “Transmission of the Invisible”, carries this interest forward.  

 

Choreographer returns to "adult" work 

By Philip Szporer “Suites cruelles” Hélène Blackburn, Cas Public

Cue Nancy Sinatra’s hit tune, “These Boots Are Made for Walking”, and cue the fun. If you don’t remember it, the sixties song kicks, and to hear it bang out of the speakers at a contemporary dance performance is cheeky.  

 

Creative Convergence 

By Philip Szporer “Lifelines” Gioconda Barbuto, Emily Molnar, Michael Slobodian

Expectations were high. Gioconda Barbuto and Emily Molnar are both celebrated dancers and have the kinds of credentials most artists dream about.  

 

An Intuitive Connection 

By Philip Szporer “Confort à retardement” John Ottman, France Geoffroy, Corpuscule Danse

“Confort à retardement” is John Ottman’s choreography created for France Geoffroy, a dancer and choreographer gaining recognition in Canada and abroad. The fact that Geoffroy is paraplegic defines the production, produced by her company Corpuscule Danse.  

 

Edges of Darkness 

By Kaija Pepper, Megan Andrews “Manga” Serge Bennathan

What would it be like to inhabit the world of manga, the Japanese cartoon art form that fills its pages with forceful depictions of energy and stillness in characters whose emotions tend toward epic proportions? “Manga”, Serge Bennathan’s full-length duet, goes some way to answering that question through transforming those one-dimensional, black and white drawings into real-world – although admittedly highly abstract – modern dance.

 

Lyrical Mathematics: Sarah Chase in Concert 

By George Sipos Sarah Chase at Dance in Vancouver Sarah Chase

Sarah Chase walks out onto the stage. The house lights remain on. No theatrical lights come up. No music begins. She is wearing jeans and a sweater. She says hi to the audience, and tells us how nice it is to be back on the West Coast after living for many years in Toronto. “Oh, we get it,” we say to ourselves, “this is not going to be a dance piece but somebody talking to us about work-in progress. Well, okay. We can relax with that.”

 

Enunciating History and the Present 

By Samantha Mehra “Kaksori” Mi Young Kim Dance Company

The paradoxical ability of dance to transcend language and yet tell stories stirs the imagination. This fascinating quality was ever-present in “Kaksori”, Mi Young Kim Dance Company’s first full-evening program at Harbourfront’s Premiere Dance Theatre.  

 

New Hybrid Equations 

By Lys Stevens “Sit back ya’ll”, “pi.r.squared”, “Text Messaging…” Julia Gutsik, Raul Guevara, 4EverFresh, Rebecca Halls, Arcus Intorchao Hula Hoop Duo, Patricia Iraola

Génération bigarrée: a new title for a favourite series within Tangente’s programming. What does this new name suggest? Formerly Danses urbaines (an ambiguous title that became politicized as some artists resisted the fit), this series highlights artists working with high-energy movement forms referencing youth culture.  

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