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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Essay: Approaching Dance, Part III

The Fine Art of Approaching Dance, Part III
by Kallee Lins (Charlebois Post Dance Editor)

[Introduction: Writing and talking about dance is something that intimidates a lot of people.  As a performance scholar (who is going on a lot of dates these days), I am often met with blank stares at the inevitable response to inquiries about my area of study.  Even worse, my conversational counterpart will attempt to hypothesize what the study of dance entails, asking something like, “PhD in dance? Is that mostly routines or do you look at historical and social context too?” 

Setting aside the fact that such a statement is reductive of both dance and academic inquiry, what these exchanges have taught me is that, in the eyes of many people, dance does not seem to function as art in the same way other disciplines do.  We expect art to speak to us, to tell us something about the world, to communicate something that cannot be articulated in more mundane ways. Why would artists spend years learning the conventions and techniques of their discipline and fostering their own aesthetic, and then sink weeks, months or even years into rehearsal or studio production if what they had to say could be articulated in an essay or press release?  And yet, observers continue to believe (whether they acknowledge it or not) that if what happens on a stage, canvas or screen cannot, in turn, be stated in words, then it does not have anything to say.  Dance, with its chronic underfunding and lack of visibility in schools compared to music, drama and the visual arts, is particularly susceptible to this fallacy.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Review: (Vancouver) Carmen (Opera)

(photo by Tim Matheson)

Inspired (and Flawed)
by Jay Catterson

After a long and languid summer break, the 2014-2015 Vancouver Opera season opened on Saturday night with the sure-fire opera hit, Georges Bizet's Carmen. This was a great move on the part of Vancouver Opera to reinvigorate interest in the company, and the music is recognizable enough for many opera newcomers to feel a sense of comfort. In fact, it seems like the company has reinvigorated their brand, with a freshly minted logo and show artwork that reflects a fresh, contemporary opera company that is both relevant and relatable.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Bathtub Bran: Tina Fushell on Waving is Funny (Dance)

We are very glad to welcome our newest occasional contributor, Bathtub Bran. We'd tell you what he does, but that would ruin the fun. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Essay: Sable Chan on What Indie Opera is Doing Right - a case study


Survival of the Fittest
What Indie Opera is Doing Right
by Sable Chan (photos by Sable Chan)
@MissSable
Sable Chan is a Speech Therapist-Chorister-Choir Girl Blogger. Sable blogs about her Edmonton Opera Chorus adventures on The Choir Girl Blog. She's often found pondering about vowel formants on acoustic software, reading scientific journals on voice therapy, and monitoring her Twitter feed. [This article first appeared on Ms Chan's website - she has graciously allowed The Charlebois Post to reprint it.]
This past summer was the opening of #UncleJohn and it was exactly the kind of production I have hoped would come to Alberta. It was musically immersive and culturally relevant - all wrapped up in a sleek, modern, indie opera company. I will reiterate what I was hearing throughout the week: "This is the future of opera."

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Interview: Roberto Campanella, Artistic Director of ProArteDanza


The Tin Celebration
It has to do with that transitional phase in your life where the balance is so precarious that you can go in a million directions - the good ones, the bad ones.
by Ramya Jegatheesan, senior contributor
rehearsal photos by Ramya Jegatheesan
@RamyaJImages

Born and raised in Rome, Roberto Campanella trained at the Scuola Italiana di Danza Contemporanea. In 1985, he joined the Compagnia Italiana di Danza Contemporanea and later joined the prestigious Aterballetto. In 1993 he joined The National Ballet of Canada where he was soon promoted to soloist and was cast in many classical and contemporary roles. Campanella choreographs predominantly for ProArteDanza, which he founded in 2004, although he also choreographs a wide variety of commissioned works for companies at home and abroad. He is now a sought-after guest teacher for companies such as The National Ballet of Canada and Stuttgart Ballet as well as companies in Italy, Korea and Japan. In 2001, Campanella was nominated for the Bonnie Bird Choreography Award in London. In 2007, he received the Fellowship Initiative Award from the New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of the New York City Ballet, and in 2008, Campanella’s first full-length work Alice in Wonderland premiered at Ballet Augsburg in Germany. He was awarded the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Choreography with co-choreographer Robert Glumbek for … in between…, which premiered at ProArteDanza’s Season 2010.

Artistic Director Roberto Campanella speaks to us frankly about ProArteDanza’s 10 year anniversary, the challenges of running a dance company, and what audiences can expect to see in the near future. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Essay: Approaching Dance, Part II


The Fine Art of Approaching Dance
by Kallee Lins (Charlebois Post Dance Editor)

Introduction: Writing and talking about dance is something that intimidates a lot of people. As a performance scholar (who is going on a lot of dates these days), I am often met with blank stares at the inevitable response to inquiries about my area of study. Even worse, my conversational counterpart will attempt to hypothesize what the study of dance entails, asking something like, “PhD in dance? Is that mostly routines or do you look at historical and social context too?” 

Setting aside the fact that such a statement is reductive of both dance and academic inquiry, what these exchanges have taught me is that, in the eyes of many people, dance does not seem to function as art in the same way other disciplines do.  We expect art to speak to us, to tell us something about the world, to communicate something that cannot be articulated in more mundane ways. Why would artists spend years learning the conventions and techniques of their discipline and fostering their own aesthetic, and then sink weeks, months or even years into rehearsal or studio production if what they had to say could be articulated in an essay or press release?  And yet, observers continue to believe (whether they acknowledge it or not) that if what happens on a stage, canvas or screen cannot, in turn, be stated in words, then it does not have anything to say.  Dance, with its chronic underfunding and lack of visibility in schools compared to music, drama and the visual arts, is particularly susceptible to this fallacy.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Review: (Montreal) Nabucco (Opera)


The opera within an opera at the opera house
by Aleksandra Koplik

Giuseppe Verdi's Nabucco, is about a Babylonian King seeking revenge on the Jews for stealing his daughter, a vicious love triangle driven by power and the Hebrew people seeking freedom from the Assyrians. As the curtains open - on this collaboration between the Washington National Opera, Opera Philadelphia and Minnesota Opera - we are also submerged in 1842 La Scala, when Italy was under Austrian rule. We see three theatre balconies on stage and a group of upper-class Austrians taking their seats. An opera within an opera is taking place.