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Reviews

 

Encounter Overflow 

By Marie Claire Forté Canada Dance Festival 2006: Environmental Encounters  Canada Dance Festival

“Encounter great dance,” announced the 2006 Canada Dance Festival (CDF). Returning from a pared-down 2004 edition, Artistic Director Brian Webb presented a full program, complete with theatre performances, Dance Dialogues (a series of morning discussions and presentations) and Environmental Encounters (outdoor performances).  

 

The Honesty of an Artist

By Megan Andrews "Absences" Serge Bennathan, Dancemakers

Space, silence, absence. Moments of suspended emptiness punctuate the robust joy, delicate care and aching grief in Absences, Serge Bennathan’s last work as artistic director of Toronto’s Dancemakers.  

 

Fragments of Mind 

By Lindsay Zier-Vogel ”she’s gone away” Susanna Hood, hum dansoundart

A horse, a gorilla, a snake and a fiendish beast; a young girl, a storyteller, a go-go dancer; a teapot, a napkin, and a cast of chairs are all brought together in Susanna Hood’s latest performance, “she’s gone away”, a theatrical dance and sound work that explores female sexual awakening.  

 

Driven by Plot not Desire 

By Kaija Pepper “A Streetcar Named Desire” John Alleyne, Ballet BC

It looks good and sounds great. “A Streetcar Named Desire”, by Ballet British Columbia’s artistic director, John Alleyne, is full of eye-catching, interlacing duets and the fifteen members of Ballet BC perform with confidence and style.  

 

Celebrating Masculinity and Creole-Canadian Dance 

“Breaking Out” Patrick Parson, Ballet Creole

Fresh from drinking in the National Ballet of Canada’s recent Balanchine season where works like “Rubies” and “Theme and Variations” stood for deep appreciation of the female form, my mind still echoes with the oft-repeated Balanchine quote “ballet is woman”. What a splashy switch then to soak up Patrick Parson’s premiere for members of his Ballet Creole company, an all-male ballet entitled “Breaking Out”. 

 

The Weight of Aggression 

By Kaija Pepper “Lost Action” Crystal Pite, Kidd Pivot

Crystal Pite’s “Lost Action”, which premiered at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre as the closing show of the Vancouver International Dance Festival, makes a serious and emotionally gripping statement about conflict.  

 

A Butoh Classic 

By Kaija Pepper “Sunyata” Kokoro Dance, Vancouver International Dance Festival

Who knew it would last? When Jay Hirabayashi and Barbara Bourget of Kokoro Dance launched the Vancouver International Dance Festival in 1998, it was a showcase for international butoh artists. For the first few years, attendance was dismal. Some of the shows were good, some appalling; but looked at in hindsight, audiences were getting a fantastic grounding in the art of butoh.  

 

Intersections, Overcrossings 

By Philip Szporer “The Part” Antonija Livingstone, Edgy Women International Festival

Lean, bleached-blond, with legs that go on and on, Antonija Livingstone cuts a striking figure. The Part is a work that she’s currently touring.

 

The Sight (Site) of Motion 

By Philip Szporer "Vortex 1"

Van Grimde Corps Secret’s latest production, “Vortex 1”, is just the latest in a series of Montréal dance concerts that have featured live musicians onstage, and in close proximity to the audience.  

 

The Innocence of Schoolgirls 

By Suzanne Jaeger "Signs" Yvonne Ng, Princess Productions

Yvonne Ng’s two-part work, “Signs” is a well-mixed suspension of text, movement, music and percussion in a fluid performance of theatrical dance. Katherine Duncanson composed a new score for the first dance “Paper Women”, and Lee Pui Ming created a work for “Emerald Lies”. Ng also invited poet Lindsay Zier-Vogel to contribute to the creative process by translating into poetic language the physicality of the choreography she observed in rehearsals.

 

Rhythmic Confrontation 

By Philip Szporer “Exit” Dominique Porte, Système D

Confrontational and contained, Dominique Porte’s Exit, features music compositions by four Canadian composers – James Harley, Nicolas Gilbert, Michael Oesterle and Howard Bashaw – with Véronique Lacroix of the Ensemble contemporain de Montréal directing the live performances of percussionist Philip Hornsley and pianist Pamela Reimer.  

 

Pushing Past the Comfort Zone 

By Philip Szporer “Lost Pigeons” David Pressault Danse

For David Pressault’s Danse-Cité production, “Lost Pigeons”, the dancer-choreographer uses the symbol of the sexy pigeon as his central image to probe today’s lost generation of lovers who see relationships slipping away.  

 

It Dances as a Whole 

By Kaija Pepper “5 AM” Paula de Vasconcelos, Pigeons International, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

The rhythmic flow and poetic abstraction of “5 AM” (“5 Heures du Matin”) lends the whole of Paula de Vasconcelos’ well-produced and visually outstanding dance/theatre work a polished choreographic feel. Yet the pure dance sections themselves were disappointing.  

 

What can you say about love? 

By Kathleen Smith "The Betrayal Project" Julia Sasso Dances

What can you say about love, lust and sex that hasn’t already been said in a million different ways in a multitude of media? This is the fundamental dilemma that must underpin any discussion of Julia Sasso’s new full-length exploration of eros: “The Betrayal Project”. 

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