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Friday, October 31, 2014

Review: (Montreal / Dance) Gustavia

                                                                   (photo: Marc Coudrais)
The Itch
by Caitlin Murphy, Senior Contributor

As a new mother, when my son was crying in public, I often felt compelled by the eyes of strangers to perform the role of concerned mother. And the problem wasn't the concern of course, but the performance. I'd quickly vacillate between stinging resentment and a strange compulsion to keep up appearances. This odd dance – between begrudging what's expected of us, while simultaneously delivering it – may not be a uniquely female experience, but it often feels so. It's a feeling that's being hotly-debated in the media at the moment, and one that is rendered exquisitely palpable in Gustavia.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bathtub Bran: Brandy Leary, AD Anandam Dance Theatre

This month: the Boy in a Bathtub talks it up with Brandy Leary, artistic director of Anandam Dance Theatre and co-director of Collective Space

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Feature: Curators Benjamin Kamino and Emi Forster on Dancemakers

Here we are. Here we go
by Benjamin Kamino

There is an overarching question we now undertake as we look forward to a future at Dancemakers that is — what is Dancemakers becoming?… and in order to see clearly where it is we are going we must undertake where it is we are now.

The position of dance curator is a burgeoning field for the dance sciences in Canada and was put in place at Dancemakers by Michael Trent, former Artistic Director. Now, as curators  Emi and I are open to an immense potential, namely — the potential to work both iteratively and to exist anew — because of this, we find ourselves asking the question…

What is Dancemakers? 
so what is it? really? 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Review: (Vancouver / Opera) Stickboy

(photo: Tim Matheson)

by Jay Catterson, Editor, Dance

Stickboy, the new work being presented by Vancouver Opera is based on spoken word artist Shane Koyczan's novel about a boy who gets bullied by his peers, and the effects of bullying on himself and those around him. Koyczan returns to provide the libretto, with music by Neil Weisensel. 

Now is it really an opera, and were they successful in bringing this story to the stage? This show is more multi-media performance art in the style of opera rather than a true opera, and at times the show brilliantly works, but most of the time it did not. The music by Neil Weisensel was evocatively lush, and his score is performed by a brilliant cast. However, the major problems lie with Koyczan's libretto. The audience is immediately thrust into a scene where Boy (brilliantly performed by tenor Sunny Shams) is being bullied by a bunch of schoolkids in a snowy playground, and similar bullying scenes occur so frequently throughout the first and second acts that we don't really have a chance to empathize with Boy's character. If they excised a few of these scenes to give the story (and the audience) a chance to breathe, perhaps spacing out Boy's journey with a few more moments of joy, we would really feel the impact of those horrific bullying scenes more.

News: (Toronto) COC Annual General Meeting report (Press Release)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Profile: Baritone Phillip Addis, Barber of Seville (Edmonton)

Catching up with Phillip Addis
Figaro in Edmonton Opera's Barber of Seville
by Sable Chan
(reprinted from The Choir Girl)

Metallic shelving units line the perimeter of the Jubilee Auditorium rehearsal hall. They are laden with props. A quick glance around the room reveals a barber’s chair in one corner. There is a side cart decorated with razors, combs, and a tall glass jar ready to disinfect any used combs. The stage manager helps me to clear a spot on the wooden prop vanity to interview Edmonton Opera’s leading man, Phillip Addis, playing Figaro in the Barber of Seville. Addis relaxes back in his seat with a sense of calm. He is no stranger to Principal roles having sung the title role in Pelléas et Mélisande with the Opéra Comique in Paris and Il Conte Almaviva in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro with Pacific Opera Victoria earlier this year; however, this is Addis’ Figaro debut.