2009

Last week's Dance in Vancouver, Program One featured work by MovEnt, Rob Kitsos and Plastic Orchid Factory.

MovEnt: Surge
choreographed by Day Helesic
performed by Day Helesic, Amber Funk Barton, Meredith Kalaman

MovEnt presented an excerpt from Surge, a study of different of metaphors of power: power as energy (whether industrial, mechanical, or electric) and power in relations between performers. As the choreographer's notes describe it, Surge deals with “the physical power held within the muscles, bones, and spirit of the body, but also the power that one body, one being, can hold over another.”

As three...

MovEnt part of Dance in Vancouver

"The shoe is the foot's pimp and procurer." ~William A. Rossi, The Sex Life of the Foot and Shoe.

Unbound, created by Wen Wei Wang and performed by Wen Wei Dance, begins with the theatre dimmly lit by a single red chinese lantern hanging just above the stage: strewn across the floor are twelve tiny red slippers embroidered with flowers. These are "authentic three-inch lotus shoes from the Chinese Opera" – the kind of shoe once worn by Chinese women whose feet were broken and bound so as to remain unnaturally small and dainty. The history of footbinding...

Unbound

(in) habitat takes us on a dreamlike adventure with two wonderfully talented dancers; Tara Dyberg and Chengxin Wei. Their undulating bodies in the opening are a testimony to the incredible muscle control and strength these two dancers possess.

Whirling around the stage in unison, inches from one another, or intertwined, we are entranced by their innocence and form. This is a discovery of space through the use of imagination, and the ride we embark upon is one of enchantment.

Based on the writings The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard, a French philosopher in the 1950`s, home...

Tara Dyberg and Chengxin Wei (in) habitat

A stark stage with muted lighting flooding the space in every direction, a man stands muscular, powerful. Motionless on stage left, he commences by moving his arms in an angular fashion, as if starting the engine of his being. He seems unsure when to begin. Is it fear holding him back?

I continued to ask similar questions throughout The Strange Adventure of Myself, choreographed by Serge Bennanthan and performed by Sylvain Senez, presnted by Les Productions Figlio.

“This piece became a study about dance, the memory of dance, about a life in dance and the dance of...

The Strange Adventure of Myself

Anna is a modern dancer who is looking for a new place to live. Technophile Patrick just happens to have put up a sign for a newly available basement suite at her dance studio. Sweet dreams are made of this.

In this fairly well written thriller created by Daniel Arnold and Medina Hahn (with direction by Ron Jenkins), currently in production at the Clutch, we are treated to the relationship of these two disparate individuals who will meet, get to know each other, fall in love and become so entwined that their destiny, eerily foretold by their pseudo-psychic...

Daniel Arnold and Medina Hahn in Any Night

This is a big month for adaptation of children’s classics. Last week, David Benedictus’ Return to the Hundred Acre Wood was released, the first authorized sequel to the original A.A. Milne books from the 1920’s.

This week sees the release of the movie version of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, adapted for the screen by Spike Jonze and David Eggers.  And here in Vancouver, Carousel Theatre brings to the Waterfront Theatre the lively and visually impressive  Love You Forever…And More Munsch!, a theatre adaptation of Robert Munsch picture books adapted by Stephen Colella and Sue Miner...

Josue Laboucane and friend from Love You Forever. Photo by Tim Matheson

Productions at Langara College’s Studio 58 are one theatrical experience I’m always excited about. Although I’m not partial to biblical stories, Lot’s Wife, advertised as offering “new and unique perspectives of the story of Abraham”, intrigued me.

In addition, they’ve brought on board top notch professionals to work with the students: James Fagan Tait (Director), Itai Erdal (Lighting Designer), Naomi Sider (Set Designer) and Nancy Tait (Costume Designer).

Prior to the performance, so that I would feel well acquainted with the biblical account, I read a number of versions of the Abraham story. He is credited as...

God (Benjamin Elliott) and Abraham (Byron Noble) in Lot's Wife at Studio 58

Summer 2009 may seem sometime ago (especially by internet standards) but really was it so far back? Justin Haigh submitted his final round-up of mini-reviews for Toronto's SummerWorks Festival right in the middle of the Victoria and Vancouver Fringe Festival madness. We had to table the reviews - and Justin's take on the overall Festival experience - until now, when we've had a bit of a chance to catch our breath.

 So, relax, put your mind back to hot, humid days on the shores of Lake Ontario and let Justin remind us all of what really happened last summer......

Feeling melancholy that summer play is over or the Melancholy Play from last summer.

They say there's strength in numbers. This is particularly true when it comes to sketch comedy where a larger cast offers several advantages: the ability to construct complex scenes with a multitude of characters, a more diverse collective mind to bolster the creative process, and the ability to cast roles according to suitability rather than sheer necessity.

This is why an upstart, and successful, sketch comedy duo like Accidental Company deserves an extra smattering of kudos for their efforts. The Company, comprised only of Brian Crosby and Jordan Kennedy, have taken the plunge and mounted a full length...

Accidental Company: two guys who share everything

The inspiration for MK Woyzeck is Georg Büchner's 1837 play, simply called Woyzeck, which was left unfinished at his death. According to the program notes for the production currently on at the Frederic Wood Theatre out at UBC, the mounting of a version of Büchner's challenging political play has become a rite of passage in theatre circles.

MK Woyzeck is thus adaptor/director Tom Scholte's kick at the proverbial can. The “MK” in the title refers to the second major source for the adaptation: the MK-Ultra project, a 1960s CIA initiative to conduct medical experiments on incarcerated criminals.

MK...

Moneca Lander, MariaLuisa Alvarez and Fiona Mongillo in MK Woyzeck; Photo: Tim Matheson

Pages