Sunday, November 30, 2014

Captured, November 30, 2014

Another magnificent video from David Cooper which also happens to redefine what dance can be. Dancer: Linda Arkelian, Music: Stephan Moccio. Get ready to be hypnotized.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Review: (Montreal / Dance) Infinity Doughnut

(Photo: Svetla Atanasova)
The Pleasure of Being Together
by Chad Dembski, Editor, Dance

Upon arriving just on time to Monument National I saw an extremely long line for the coat check. This was the first request of many to shed your outer world belongings and join the performance space area. I left my backpack and shoes at the side, stood against the back wall and held hands with two different strangers. Then as a long line of curious audience members we carefully navigated down a flight of stairs and walked in and around the space.  This instantly brought me back to elementary school and the few exhilarating days we would visit a non-school location. There was a giddy nervousness amongst most of the crowd that chose to go along for the ride; some audience members refused to take their shoes off and join in. Still this simple, opening action helped bring an instant intimacy to the piece and for me a personal awareness of each and every audience member.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Review: (Montreal / Dance) That's It

Any Shape, form or structure imaginable
by Chad Dembski,  Editor, Dance

The solo dance performance of That’s It at La Chapelle is a strong investigation of body transformation in all its possible forms. Brussels based creator and dancer Sabine Molenaar first premiered the piece in 2012 and has toured it extensively before making this its North American première. Her incredible virtuosity and control are displayed from the first image of sitting on the ground, back to the audience and arms wrapped in a mysterious way around her body. My first thought was that this was going to be a contortionist show of intense and unbelievable body moves. This became half true over the next 50 minutes where Sabine pulls, pushes, tears and transforms her body into every imaginable form.

News: (TO) Charles Sy wins top prize at COC vocal competition (Press release)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Captured, November 25, 2014

Manitoba Opera takes you for a fascinating look behind the scenes for its new production of Beethoven's only opera, Fidelio, now playing in Winnipeg.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

From the Archives: Sue Edworthy on emerging companies and marketing

Pretend It’s Going to Print
by Sue Edworthy
[PUB: Sue Edworthy is one of the country's top publicists and pundits on the subject. When I pulled this from the archives, I realized not one word of it needed to be changed or explained so that it is a fitting lesson to companies working in dance and opera as well. GLC]

Sue Edworthy Arts Planning offers Marketing + Communications + Planning – For Your Art. This is what my business card says I do. What I actually do doesn’t quite fit on a business card – what I actually do is the current culmination of nearly 20 years of working in not for profit arts and culture, all disciplines, all areas, but with a firm focus on marketing for your show or arts organization. I work with organizations from an independent artist putting up her first gallery show, to small arts orgs working their way towards operational standing, to government run arts orgs. I run (market?) the gamut.
In case you were wondering what else I do when I am doing that, I am Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Toronto Fringe Festival; Arts Advocacy Committee; Artsvote Toronto; Dora Jury, Harold Award recipient, ACCA member. I see a lot of plays, I see a lot of movies, I read a ton of books, I am what I call a “city enthusiast” and I talk to anyone who will listen about the amazing art and artists in our city and the impact all of this has in making Toronto an amazing place to live. I did a 12 hour art marathon earlier this year to prove it could be done.
That is some of what else I do. You may be wondering why this matters, but I’m telling you about it because it really kind of shows that I am fully immersed in the arts community in Toronto, and that MarComm for the arts is something I literally love to do. Some friends give me a time limit to talk about it, as I could go on for hours. I’m the type that gets mad when you mute the commercials, because I want to see them.
CharPo asked me to write an article on me and my company, and “what you see as marketing mistakes on the part of emerging companies”. And my first thought was, “where do I begin?” – Not in a snarky way, but in a “which ones should I talk about that would be most effective to hear about?”

Friday, November 21, 2014

Captured, November 21, 2014

This odd and troubling and beautiful teaser for That's It from Belgian Sabine Molenaar playing at La Chapelle in Montreal this week. The description of the piece says "logic has no place". Indeed.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Captured, November 19, 2014

The National Ballet's production of John Neumeier's Nijinsky opens this weekend. The title-"character" is an icon of modern ballet who had a life as stormy as many of his great roles.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bathtub Bran with Artistic Director Riley Sims of Social Growl Dance

Bran talks with Riley Sims of Social Growl Dance as he prepares for his December production of Are You Still Coming Tonight?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

From the Archives: (Dance / Montreal) Review - Dance Me to the End On / Off Love

When Even "Hallelujah" Feels Revitalized
by Caitlin Murphy

[Ed: We ran this review during the initial run of the piece; it is back for a short run - November 19-22 - at Centaur Theatre in Montreal.]

On the heels of its triumph, Trad, the Centaur Theatre is offering another enigmatic and enchanting ‘import,’ this one from further afield.  Dance Me to the End On / Off Love, a Granhøj Dans Production from Denmark, presents a surreal landscape of theatre, movement, and performance art, through the lens of some very familiar melodies and beloved lyrics – those of  Montreal’s own, Leonard Cohen.

A bold programming choice for the Centaur, Dance Me is clearly interested in challenging and teasing its audience, playing with our desires to see clearly, understand what we’re looking at, and be able to read well.  At various times, we are sung to through a megaphone or nylon stocking, shown Cohen’s lyrics re-written on overhead projector, temporarily stunned with a blinding light, or made to decipher what’s being written in body paint on a dancer’s back.   

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Review (Montreal / Dance) 6,3 Évanouissements

How I Fell In Love With Contemporary Dance
by Aleksandra Koplik, Senior Contributor

There's something about this performance that is strangely captivating from the very beginning. As the audience gathered in the vestibule, waiting to be seated, one of the choreographers and performers (Benoit Lachambre), approached a few individuals and told them that something was going to happen in a few minutes, asking them to freeze at the appropriate moment. At this point I knew this was going to be interesting. As predicted, everyone froze at the right time and looked in the directions we were told. We found that five performers had been among us the whole time. They too were frozen, at first, but then started convulsing in a range of motions. We were then all slowly invited to be seated. Before we sat down, we find one of the dancers on stage alone. She is light and windy in her movements. There's always a fine line between an enticing-weird and uncomfortably-weird contemporary dance show. This performance by Danse-Cité and Agora de la Danse was most definitely fascinating, even to the untrained eye. Six incredibly talented artists come together for 6,3 Evanouissements: Fortner Anderson, Marc Boivin, Sophie Corriveau, Michel F Coté, Benoit Lachambre and Catherine Tardif. They create a space in time describing the act of fainting. Where one's consciousness or spirit goes, in a very relatable and humorous way.

Bathtub Bran: Kristen Carcone and David Norsworthy of TOES for Dance

The Boy In The Bathtub offers us a threesome today with Kristen Carcone and David Norsworthy of TOES for Dance. Upcoming shows in Toronto on November 15 and 16.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

First-Person: Michael Hidetoshi Mori, Artistic Director of Tapestry Opera

Shout Out In Joy and Frustration!
by Michael Hidetoshi Mori

Michael Hidetoshi Mori of Tapestry Opera is both Canada’s youngest professional operatic Artistic Director and the only Asian-Canadian to ever hold such a role. Now in its 35th year, Tapestry produces contemporary and Canadian opera, filling a crucial and innovative niche in the country’s cultural landscape. With a history boasting over 15 major world premieres and 175 opera shorts premieres, the company regularly engages the nation’s best composers, writers and singers, including Judith Forst, Sally Dibblee, Krisztina Szabo and Ted Berg. It has also collaborated with esteemed ensembles and companies such as The Gryphon Trio, Edmonton Opera and Scottish Opera. 

These days it seems taboo to love publicly and be passionate about things of substance, unless that energy is expressed via social media for trending bursts of time. I want to change that. Shout out in joy or frustration; break something against a brick wall; sing and dance on impulse regardless of where you are…love or hate things with greater passion and less pragmatism!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Captured, November 9, 2014

The opera Silent Night - which will be playing a little everywhere this season but is starting out at Calgary Opera, tells the story of a wondrous and blessed time in the history of WWI when enemies came together. The magnificent photographer, Trudie Lee, has captured a moment in the opera which could just as well be the actual moment in history. The colour looks applied, the balance of light and dark perfect, the groupings of standing and sitting characters captured lovingly. It is dececptive too: posed as if for a camera from the first decades of the last century, but also strangely natural. The opera - and the photo - are a brilliant tribute on this, the hundredth anniversary of the war that was meant to end all wars.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Review: (Toronto / Dance) The Four Horsemen Project

Text, Sound, Poetry, Song
by Jasmine Chen,  Senior Contributor

“Language has been so misused by merchants, politicians, evangelists and materialists. Language has become abusive; sullied and souled by ulterior motives. Sound Poetry was an abandonment of language.” – Paul Dutton

This quote rings out with particular clarity in our contemporary society, when a single miscalculated comment can send the media into a frenzy or the twitterverse into a firestorm. When language can be manipulated towards different agendas, it is refreshing to step back from what we know as language. What the Four Horsemen and Volcano Theatre with Crooked Figure Dances and Global Mechanic are able to do is strip language of meaning so that we begin to listen to pure sound. When we begin to listen to sounds produced by the voice and human body, we stop relying on language to convey meaning. The result is a fully embodied form of expression that is exposed and surprising.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Review: (Dance / Vancouver) No. 29

White Act (photo: Michael Slobodian) 
From Athletics to Cerebral
by Jay Catterson
The Ballet BC 2014-2015 season launched on Thursday night with No.29, a bold collection of works from choreographers Jacopo Godani, Fernando Hernando Magadan, and Lesley Telford, which commemorates the 29th anniversary of the company as well as the 29th original work since the renewal of the company in 2009. 

The Abominable Showman; Baritone Étienne Dupuis

The triumphant homecoming of Etienne Dupuis
After receiving accolades across Europe, Montreal baritone Etienne Dupuis returns home to star in The Barber of Seville at L’Opéra de Montréal 
by Richard Burnett 
(Rehearsal photos by Yves Renaud)

Montrealers remember seeing rising baritone Etienne Dupuis when he was part of a flash mob of opera singers staged in the busy Marché Jean Talon market in his hometown of Montreal, to promote L’Opéra de Montréal in 2010. “I love people’s faces when I start singing opera in an up-close space,” Dupuis told the Vancouver Straight alt-weekly. “We were standing right in front of them and they just became statues. People don’t realize the nature of that sound and what it does to you. It can make you vibrate.”

Watch the clip here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Letter From New York: The Death of Klinghoffer

Alan Opie (Leon Klinghoffer) and Jesse Kovarsky (Omar) in The Death of Klinghoffer. Photo credit: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera
Mixed Emotions.
There's a lot of post-9/11 baggage on this cruise. 
by Lisa McKeown, Senior Contributor

[PUBLISHER'S NOTE: In the past we have asked our contributors to send in reviews of productions in cities they were visiting: art as seen by Canadians abroad. In this case we asked Lisa McKeown, one of our most politically astute contributors, to review a highly controversial piece playing at the Metropolitan Opera both because it has become an international story, but also because it is a work which may, in some incarnation, make its way to Canada. I am very proud to be presenting this piece; Ms McKeown cuts through the noise. GLC]

The very controversial opera, John Adams's The Death of Klinghoffer, is currently playing at the Metropolitan Opera (Met) in NYC. The opera is based on the 1985 hijacking of a cruise ship by Palestinian terrorists. In the course of events, they shoot Klinghoffer, a disabled Jewish man who was celebrating his wedding anniversary, throwing his body and his wheelchair overboard.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Captured, November 3, 2014

This is one of those performance photos where you don't need to do a lot of blah blah blah to explain it's greatness - you just need to say, "Look at it!" Trudie Lee captures dancer Natasha Korney from Decidedly Jazz Danceworks for Year of the Horse, the completely fictional adventures of Josephine Baker.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Captured, November 1, 2014

Celebrate 25 years of Toronto's Kaeja d'Dance with this electrifyingly kinetic video!