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Friday, October 24, 2014

Review: (Vancouver / Dance) Dances for a Small Stage


Falling Short
by Jay Catterson, Editor, Dance
The 31st installment of Dances for a Small Stage at the Ukrainian Hall (famous for its regular Ukrainian pierogi dinner) combines for the first time live music from Toronto's all-female Cecilia String Quartet with this popular Vancouver dance showcase through a collaboration between MovEnt and Music On Main's Modulus Festival. In fact, the true standout of the show was the brilliant Cecilia String Quartet, who flawlessly performed Tchaikovsky's String Quartet No.1 in D Major in Act One, and briefly returned in Act Two to perform a John Oswald piece inspired by Beethoven. But to have the 'Dances' show framed within the confines of the Modulus festival is where this dance show fell short. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Review: (Montreal / Dance) Le Délire Domestique


The everyday spectacular
by Chad Dembski, Editor, Dance

Le Délire Domestique is the latest creation by choreographer Deborah Dunn featuring seven solo dances focusing on daily domestic life. Based on rituals of cleaning, making food, and taking care of animals the seven dancers each take their own stab at the proposition. With a strong sense of how women are still forced into these roles of housekeeper even when also attempting to pursue careers. We all may say it’s a new world where men or women can take care of the home but there is still an automatic assumption that home duties fall to women.  

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.