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Reviews

Points of View (unsolicited) 

By Alana Gerecke, Andrea Downie Vancouver International Dance Festival 2007  Vancouver International Dance Festival

Among the many performances at the Vancouver International Dance Festival, two programs – by senior artists Jay Hirabayashi and Barbara Bourget, and by Karen Jamieson – inspired emerging writers to capture their experiences in words. 

 

Rhythmic Attraction 

By Mary Theresa Kelly “Magnetic Consequences” Decidedly Jazz Danceworks

The cool kids from Calgary are in town. They groove, they jump, they rock and they bop; they funk it up, and work it out. Best of all they feel the blues, and they transmit that love of rhythm and blues in every eighth note.  

 

Ancient Behaviour 

By Gregory C. Beatty “Herding Instinct” Karen Kuzak, TRIP Dance

In choreographing “Herding Instinct”, Karen Kuzak, artistic director of Winnipeg’s TRIP Dance, took inspiration from an unlikely source – her six-year-old border collie Ben. Or, more accurately, the competitions she and Ben have participated in where teams of two dogs and their master work to control a flock of sheep.  

 

Layering Tradition and Identity 

By Kathleen Smith “Meeting with Saghi” Sashar Zarif

In Persian culture, the character of Saghi is a beloved wine-bearer who embodies ideals and beliefs of the tradition that created him in much the same way as the stories of Krishna inform the East Indian cultural landscape. 

 

Reconnections 

By Philip Szporer A mixed progam by Gaétan Gingras  Gaétan Gingras

Iroquois-Mohawk by ancestry, but cut off from his roots for most of his life, at fourteen Gaétan Gingras learned that his maternal grandparents were aboriginal. The truth had been hidden for many years.  

 

Seduced by the Sound 

By Kaija Pepper “Chutzpah!” The Lisa Nemetz International Showcase of Jewish Performing Arts   Chutzpah! Festival

The Chutzpah! Festival is always a sprawling celebration of Jewish culture through dance, theatre and music that takes place annually at the Norman Rothstein Theatre in the Jewish Community Centre.  

 

Bringing the Outside In 

By Gregory C. Beatty “the Weathering Suite” Davida Monk, M-Body

Choreographed by Davida Monk for her Calgary-based dance company M-Body, “the Weathering Suite” arrived in Regina at a curious moment. The UN was in the process of releasing a long-awaited report on climate change; Al Gore and Inuit environmentalist Sheila Watt-Cloutier had just been nominated for the Nobel Peace prize; and in Canada, the environment, and climate change in particular, had become the hot-button political issue.  

 

Dancing to Save Paradise 

By Kaija Pepper Dancing Joni & Other Works Alberta Ballet

The press interest in “The Fiddle and the Drum” by Alberta Ballet’s artistic director, Jean Grand-Maître, and legendary singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell, surprised everyone – but probably not Mitchell, the cause of it all. Though apparently reclusive, she must be used to attention after four successful decades in the music business and, in order to publicize the ballet, was willing to hold court.  

 

Keeping It Real at 48 

By Michèle Moss Mixed program by Louise Lecavalier  Louise Lecavalier

Seeing Louise Lecavalier dance is a trip of sorts: a fairground ride through time and space, a wonderland tour across a history of body politics and the ideals of nationalism, the excess of the 1980s, the exuberance of the 1990s.  

 

Seeking Common Rhythmic Ground 

By Samantha Mehra “Tappin’ at the Winch: The Resurgence” Paula Skimin, Turn on the Tap

In this city of diverse traditions, the promise of experiencing several cultural art forms in one performance tempts the cosmopolitan appetite. For those with such a taste, Turn on the Tap’s “Tappin’ at the Winch: The Resurgence”, at the Winchester Street Theatre, offered a range of flavours.  

 

An Unwieldy Opus 

By Philip Szporer “Bas-reliefs” Marie-Josée Chartier

It all began from a fascination with pioneering visual artist Betty Goodwin’s “Swimmers” series from the 1980s. From this source, in which Goodwin drew, using graphite, charcoal and oil pastels, on a kind of translucent paper, dancer-choreographer Marie-Josée Chartier conceived a multi-disciplinary mega-production, “Bas reliefs: un dyptique”.  

 

Bubble-Wrap Reality Dance 

By Marie Claire Forté “Talk Show” Alexis Andrew, Elizabeth MacKinnon

Layers of subtext float around this performance called “Talk Show” by Ottawa’s collective (gulp). Independent dance artists are a rare and special breed in Ottawa – Alexis Kate Andrew and Elizabeth MacKinnon of collective (gulp) are no exception.  

 

A Whirl of Sound and Motion 

By Kathleen Smith “Asala” Arabesque Dance Company

One of Toronto’s most successful dance companies is devoted to forms of dance that have entranced devotees and audiences alike for thousands of years. Under the direction of Yasmina Ramzy, the Arabesque Dance Company takes Middle Eastern dance vocabularies and showcases them, for the most part respectfully, and to the delight of their fans.  

 

Doubles territoires 2/Split Stage 2 

By Philip Szporer New works by Peter Trosztmer and Ségolène Marchand  Peter Trosztmer, Ségolène Marchand

The performance began outside the theatre. Conceptual pieces of printed, bent metal stuck on wooden planks were suspended along the corridor walls leading to the theatre. Inside, bent bicycles in tormented shapes hung from the walls and ceiling.  

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