Review: Bring Your Own Helmet (The School of Toronto Dance Theatre)


Bring Your Own Helmet is a presentation of new choreographic work by third-year students at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. The show went up on February 25th and 26th at the Winchester Street Theatre.

The one person I thought to invite rejected me. To paraphrase – because he used the f-bomb, his words were, “I don’t like modern dance. It doesn’t make any sense!”

I can’t remember what I said in reply. But there was no convincing to be done. F-bomb to him though.

I have seen only one other show, Impulse, by the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, but my expectations were very high for Bring Your Own Helmet.

Specifically, I was expecting the absorbing level of emotional and intellectual expression in Impulse.

I agree with my friend, that contemporary choreographic works don’t always seem to make sense. They can’t easily be broken down, analytically. So, in my experience, often the most upstanding work defies lengthy discussion.

But for me, that’s one of its primary assets.

With titles like “Silent Shout” and “Winter” and “Brackish Waters,” that are vague and abstract, I can appreciate why someone might think the work itself is vague and abstract.

All I can say to that, I guess: never judge a work by its title.

Bring Your Own Helmet consisted of fifteen works, each about four to five minutes long. On the night I went, the house was full and the mood buoyant.

For example, the audience was laughing at the gentle humor of works such as “Muy cera” by Juanita Suarez and “because it changes” by Joanie Audet.

In addition to the humor, I connected with a sense of despair in “Silent Shout” by Kala Fletcher. As well as to the seemingly abrupt, random attachments and general sense of detachment infused in Ana Groppler’s “with alternate hands.” And, something about the playfulness of “under endless sky” by Alysha Cugini really got to me.

Once again the School of Toronto Dance Theatre has put on a fantastic show. I’d strongly recommend attending the upcoming Hit the Ground Running – An Evening of New Choreographic Work.


Bring Your Own Helmetwas presented at the Toronto Dance Theatre (one block east of Parliament, on Winchester Street) by the students of the School of the Toronto Dance Theatre

– It was performed February 25th and 26th

– The tickets cost $15 for General admission, and $12 for students and seniors