Review: Entity (Harbourfront World Stage and Wayne McGregor | Random Dance)

Harbourfront World Stage’s Entity is a wonderful dance piece examining kinesthetic intelligence

New to the world of dance, I didn’t know what to expect going into Wayne McGregor’s Entity. Running 60 minutes long, with no intermission, Entity was a completely enjoyable production that featured many talented dancers and beautiful choreography.

Wayne McGregor boasts an impressive resume. A world-renowned British choreographer who has won multiple awards, McGregor is well-known for his groundbreaking collaborations across dance, film, music, visual art, technology and science. He strives to communicate ideas through movement of the body, imparting meaning into each dance sequence. In creating Entity, McGregor worked with twelve neuroscientists from around the world to examine the nature of kinesthetic intelligence which resulted in an extraordinarily striking performance.

McGregor makes an impressive use of technology to create a spectacle that is completely unforgettable. The dancers begin the performance wearing white tank tops that are printed with DNA patterns, a motif the audience sees in a video projection on a large, rectangular screen that is at the back of the stage. The screen often featured a running greyhound, I thought almost comparing the strength of the animal with the strength of the dancers. Geometric prints that almost appeared to be Da Vinci-inspired illuminated the stage as the dancers incorporated the shapes and lights into their own performances.

The use of light in this show made it unique and enhanced the overall value of the production. At one point the dancers were illuminated in such a way that all their muscles became completely visible, showcasing their toned and athletic bodies. The light was also used to create shadows of the dancers that could be seen on the side walls of the theatre, furthering the visual appeal of the show.

I thought that one of the best parts of the show was the music. McGregor worked with Coldplay and Massive Attack collaborator Jon Hopkins which became very obvious to me in the second half of the performance. Both the music and dancing became very intense and if you’re a Massive Attack fan like I am, you’ll really enjoy watching dancers perform to this type of sound.

The second half of the performance also featured fewer dancers on stage which I really enjoyed. When there were only two or three dancers performing such complex and precise moves one stage at a time, I was able to soak it in and appreciate it that much more. At the times when all ten dancers were on stage, I often found it difficult to decide where I should look and who I should focus on.

The performance ended with an enthusiastic audience, some of whom gave the dancers a standing ovation. This piece was really well done and each dancer impressed me with their skills and abilities to make such difficult sequences look nearly effortless.

–       Entity is playing at Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W. until March 3, 2012
–       Shows run February 28, March 1, 2 and 3 at 8pm
–       Ticket prices are $45, $36 (seniors), $15 (CultureBreak)
–       Tickets are available online or at 416-973-4000
Photo by Laurent Philippe