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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Review: (Vancouver / Dance) Music Creates Opportunity

Here to Stay
by Jay Catterson, Editor, Dance

Bboyizm, the jubilant urban dance ensemble led by Yvon Soglo aka Crazy Smooth, exuded joy and enough swagger to delight the Cultch Vancouver audience this past Tuesday evening with the opening of Music Creates Opportunity. The immensely acrobatic moves by the lithe cast were not only executed with precision, but oftentimes impressively within confined spaces defined via panels of light or between the dancers themselves. Explosive hip-hop movement would finish with control and restraint in bold bboy stances, and later morph into other synchronized movement propelled from one breaker to another. 

Review: (Montreal / Dance) Nobody Likes a Pixelated Squid & Chorus II

Chorus II
A Beautiful Contradiction
by Chad Dembski, Editor, Dance
After one of the most bizarre mixes of two diverse companies I left the Cinquième Salle last night curious how programming decisions are made. Artists often have control over their own work to a certain extent but not always where and how their work is presented. Sometimes two very different shows are put together as a way to show two sides of similar research or at other times a common theme in a body of work. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Captured, October 21, 2014

Another stunning dance video by David Cooper. This time it is Karen Pitkethly with Karen Flamenco. Take less than three minutes to watch this and you will make your day better.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

First-Person: MovEnt Artistic Producer Julie-anne Saroyan on Dances for a Small Stage

John Oswald, Holly Small (photo by John Oswald)
Crossing the Divide: Music meets Dance 
By Julie-anne Saroyan

MovEnt’s Artistic Producer, Julie-anne Saroyan loves sharing dance with everyone.  She co-founded MovEnt in 2001 and kicked off the series Dances for a Small Stage in Vancouver.  Since then, Ms Saroyan has produced many dance events including all instalments of the MovEnt series Dances for a Small Stage in Vancouver, at the Canada Dance Festival (2006) and at BC Scene (2009) and The National Arts Centre in Ottawa.  Her background includes a degree in dance combined with technical theatre from York University and an internship in stage management at The Banff Centre. But it’s the excitement of sharing dance with regular people that inspires her to continue to develop and support dance artists and push boundaries that connects them with audiences. Ms Saroyan has established herself in the dance industry as a skilled and dedicated professional in identifying, developing, and mentoring emerging dance artists. She has successfully developed Dances for a Small Stage as a breeding ground for new choreographic talent and as a stable, sustainable artistic venture. Julie-anne Saroyan has had the pleasure of working with many dance artists and companies including  Ballet BC, Lola Dance, Margie Gillis, Emily Molnar and Crystal Pite/Kidd Pivot. She was also on Faculty at Simon Fraser University from 2005-2007 as the Production/Stage Management Instructor in the School for the Contemporary Arts and currently sits on several committees including the programming committee for PAL (Performing Arts Lodge) Theatre.

Dances for a Small Stage 31 will lift the curtain October 23 on an adventurous, audacious, outrageous group of artists. Presented by MovEnt with Music on Main as part of the 2014 Modulus Festival, Small Stage dancers will be joined by live musicians – a cheeky new twist for our small stage – who will share the spotlight side-by-side in an exhilarating evening of no-holds-barred, awe-inspiring music and dance collaborations. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Review: (Victoria / Opera) Das Rheingold

                                    (photo by David Cooper)
Girl Meets Wagner          
My Return to the Opera Oeuvre
by Morgan McPherson, Senior Contributor

I have an interesting relationship with opera. It used to be this strange, mystifying form of Art with a capital "a" to me. Serious stuff, foreign languages, fat ladies singing in horned helmets. I'm still a little intimidated when it comes time to go to an opera. I never feel well-enough dressed, am worried that the other patrons won't be friendly, or that I'll be out of place. Every time I go, however, I'm always reminded of what a gorgeous art form opera truly is. I've always been enchanted by the way it can feel classic and old, but also pleasantly young and fresh. I didn't know what to expect last night, but I was blown away.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Review: (Vancouver / Dance) Quantum

(photo by Gregory Batardon)

Innate Appreciation
by Jay Catterson, Editor, Dance
Born out of an artistic residency at CERN in Geneva, the largest particle physics laboratory in the world, Swiss choreographer Gilles Jobin's QUANTUM utilizes contemporary dance as metaphor for the forces that govern the universe: matter, time, gravity and space. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Captured, October 16, 2014

Falstaff - now at the COC - is a joyous opera, it is a lovely opera, it is a musical opera and here, without a whisper, Michael Cooper has once again captured the piece's essence in a riot of reds and golds floating in a sea of chiaroscuro. Gerald Finley, as the lecherous wino, is perfectly framed among the raised glasses and chandeliers, the antlers which are so much a part of Prince Hal's pal located downstage reminding us that this man is not to be trusted. Beautiful.