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Reviews

 

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. 

 

TRIALOGUE: Tap Dancing Swans and Other Signs of Intelligent Life 

By Imogen Whyte , Mary Theresa Kelly Uncollected Work Crystal Pite, Kidd Pivot

Crystal Pite’s new show Uncollected Work, by Pite’s recently formed modern dance company Kidd Pivot, is presented in two parts and bravely adopts the notion of the creative process as thematic material.

 

A Middle Eastern Take on "Le Sacre"  

By Philip Szporer L'Oeil et la nuit Motaz Kabbani

Motaz Kabbani is still making a name for himself on the Canadian dance scene, and now he has done something somewhat daring and unusual that should garner attention.  

 

Motion in Motion 

By Philip Szporer Moving Pictures Festival of Dance on Film and Video  Moving Pictures Festival

The 12th annual edition of the Moving Pictures Festival of Dance on Film and Video, curated by Kathleen M. Smith and Marc Glassman, opened in grand style, with a ballet-based evening of screen dance.  

 

LOVE ME: Cinderella, Astroturf, red sequins and dancing men  

By Marie Claire Forté Celle qui, dit-on, aurait perdu sa chaussure (Cendrillon) Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Stijn Celis

How much can you renew a traditional fairy tale? Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal and Belgian choreographer Stijn Celis answer with “Celle qui, dit-on, aurait perdu sa chaussure (Cendrillon)”.

 

A Wealth of Influences 

By Kaija Pepper Tao (The Way) Wen Wei Dance

It’s the individual movement that stays with you: bodies, male and female, unfurling legs and arms, flattening their torsos forward, winding and reaching like exotic plants trying to face the sun or growing in all directions in fast motion right before your eyes. 

Alchemy of a Dance Festival: FIND-Lab Part 2 

By Kathleen Smith Festival international de nouvelle danse  Festival international de nouvelle danse 

The second part of this year’s edition of FIND was characterized by unusually fine weather outdoors, uneven programming indoors and an absolute obsession with technology everywhere you looked. Could these three elements possibly be related? 

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