Review: Older & Reckless (Canadian Stage)

claudia moore in escape artist by Omar resize

Toronto’s leading veteran dancers took to the Berkeley Theatre stage in Older & Reckless

Performed at the gorgeous Berkeley Theatre, some of Toronto’s veteran dancers took the stage to perform dance works as part of the Older & Reckless series. Based on the pre-show talk, founder and curator Claudia Moore (MOonhORsE Dance Theatre), wanted to showcase works of older dancers in an intimate setting. The setting allowed audience members to connect with the dancers while also getting the opportunity to participate in a fun and engaging warm-up to begin the show! The dancer in me absolutely loved the interaction and the warm-up. It got my heart rate up and feeling energized!

What’s the difference between a younger dancer and an older (over 40) dancer ? According to the pre-show talk, it is athleticism vs. artistry. Young dancers are physically strong and very athletic — they can do jetes, rond de jambe and pirouettes without too much fear of long-lasting injury. Many older dancers have gone through a number of serious injuries mostly due to their hips and knees. For example, Robert Desrosiers, renowned dancer and one of Canada’s most celebrated choreographers, injured his hip and needed a replacement in 2010. Older dancers have depth and years of personal and professional experience. Their wisdom is shown in the way they move, how they perform and how they connect with their inner selves. And this was definitely demonstrated in Canadian Stages’ Older & Reckless.

From tap-contemporary to flamenco, the series showcased, for the most part, some stellar work. Dancer Douglas Dunn began the show. He had a unique way of moving but I couldn’t connect to those movements. As an audience member, I felt disengaged. It was a slow start to the show but luckily the second performer of the evening, tap dancer extraordinaire Bill Coleman, caught my attention and that for me, was when the show really began.

All five dance pieces were accompanied by live music. I absolutely loved the haunting and mesmerizing music by cellist Anne Bourne, who sang and played music for Robert Desrosiers. I also enjoyed the upbeat music by guitarist Nicolas Hernandez and singer Tamar Ilnan. Their music was for the flamenco piece performed by Esmeralda Enrique.

It was a treat to see the strong technique and partnership work by Sylvie Bouchard, Karen Kaeja and Claudia Moore. The women certainly represented in their athleticism and their poetic movements. What I particularly enjoyed were the sounds Kaeja made with her hands, the shake of the head by Moore and the playfulness by Bouchard.

There is a lot of dance history behind the dancers showcased at the Older & Reckless series. If you are a lover of dance, than this is a show you don’t want to miss.


  • Older & Reckless is playing at Berkeley Street Theatre, second floor (26 Berkeley St)
  • Performances run November 6 to 9; Thursday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with a 7 p.m. performance on Friday and matinees on Friday and Sunday at 1 p.m.
  • The performance runs approximately 90 minutes with no intermission
  • Cost: $30 – $45
  • To order tickets call 416.368.3110 or book online

Photo of Claudia Moore in Escape Artist by Ömar K. Yükseker