Review: Fresh Blood (The Chimera Project)

14 diverse dance pieces compete for best choreography at Harbourfront’s Fresh Blood show

Now in its 13th season, under the direction of Malgorzata Nowacka, The Chimera Project is a prominent contemporary dance company striving to bring contemporary dance to its audiences through innovative themes and performances.

Presented annually at the Harbourfront Centre in the Enwave Theatre, Fresh Blood features the immense talents of emerging dance artists in fourteen uniquely choreographed pieces. From quirky and playful solo pieces to the precision of ensembles, this fast-paced show left me hypnotized from start to finish.

The 90 minute show was well-sequenced alternating from solo performances to larger group numbers of high intensity. Choreography and musical choices were so distinctly diverse and so intricately executed.

Opening with the comical Jacob Niedzwiecki in Meet Cute, (Or Canadian Tuxedo) in a metaphorical love relationship with a hanging fish was the perfect whimsical
start to an evening of pure artistry. There were also some lovely moments in Affirmation, performed by duo Adrian Ellis and Ryan Lee. Choreographed by Paul Charbonneau, this piece was powerful and poetic.

The first act was most impressive, highlighting some of my most favourite pieces starting with the choreography of Kyra Jean Green and a trio of dancers from Cadence Bridges Ballet. Intelligent, dynamic, refined and impeccably performed with great accuracy, this piece was a stand out.

Choreographed and performed by Marlowe Porter and Julie McLachlan was the visually engaging number of When the Wall Fell All Writing Came to Light. Using only their bodies to inhabit the open space, the dancers explored the notion of freedom of expression.

Crossroad Wanderlust, choreographed and performed by Elke Schroeder along with Christine Birch, Kate Nankervis, and Danielle O’Reilly was dark and powerful, evoking a feeling of mysticism. Combining physical stamina and agility, the dancers’ indefatigable strength was unstoppable!

Based on the theme of the repression of women, Angelica Scannura’s Flamenco inspired piece After he Fall was fiery, provocative and dramatic as expected given the nature of the genre.

Act 2 opened with Fire, a display of human strength, spirit and endurance. Interesting numbers continued to follow making it an overall engaging and inspiring evening.

Phenomenal lighting design by Sharon DiGenova added depth and quality to each piece, showing the simple power of lighting effects.

At the end of the evening, audience members are asked to fill out a ballot for their favourite choreographer. The winner secures a spot in next year’s Chimera Project. It was a remarkable evening and needless to say, I am sure I find myself among others, feeling torn at which piece to choose.


-Fresh Blood presented by The Chimera Project will be playing at the Harbourfront Centre in the Enwave Theatre (231 Queens Quay West) as part of Harbourfront’s
NextSteps 11/12 Season on March 16th-March 17th, 2012 at 8pm.

-Tickets can be purchased by contacting the box
office at 416-973-4000 or online at Tickets range from $15-$20.

-For information you may visit