All posts by Deanne Kearney

Review: KIRA, The Path | La Voie (Lua Shayenne Dance Company / Luminato)

Percussionist Fara Tolno and a company of dancers opens Toronto’s Luminato Festival

KIRA, The Path | La Voie brings a lively and rhythmic energy to the Luminato Festival, with a mix of dancers and percussionist who perform Fara Tolno, choreography and composition. Tolno is a guest artist with the Lua Shayenne Dance Company, specializing in Guinean dance and music. Lua Shayenne, artistic director of the company, took to the Fleck Dance Theatre stage as a performer in the work.

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Review: Undivided Colours (inDANCE / Co.ERASGA)

inDance presents solo performances by Asian-Canadian dance artists on stage in Toronto

inDANCE and Co.ERASGA present Undivided Colours, four solo works by seasoned Asian-Canadian dance artists. Reflecting, re-imagining, mixing dance styles and stories from their personal heritages and perspectives, the four solos take the Dancemakers Centre For Creation stage.

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Review: Against Nature (Citadel + Compagnie)

An award-winning adaptation mixing dance and opera returns to Toronto

Presented by Citadel + Compagnie, the 2016 Dora nominated Against Nature returns to the Citadel. The opera and dance mix adapts French/Dutch author Joris-Karl Huysman’s 1884 novel À Rebours through the direction and choreography of James Kudelka.

After living a luxurious life in Paris, Jean des Esseinte, an aristocrat played by Alexander Dobson, flees to the countryside to live in solitude. In an attempt to escape society, he aims to create a perfect world, and surrounds himself with literature, art and artifacts. Through this isolation, his mental and physical health deteriorate, leaving him unable to escape memories and experiences from his past life.

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Review: Light Years (Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre)

Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre showcases its young company members in Toronto

Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre (CCDT) presents Light Years at the Harbourfront’s Fleck Dance Theatre, a mixed dance bill showing the technical prowess and maturity of its young company’s members. All under the age of 19, the technically strong and agile dancers perform five works – two world premieres, two CCDT premieres and one returning piece.

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Review: I Swallowed a Moon Made of Iron (Canadian Stage)

Canadian Stage presents a tribute to Chinese poet Xu Lizhi to Toronto audiences

A beautiful ode to the late poet Xu Lizhi, I Swallowed a Moon Made of Iron gives a voice to migrant workers, expressing the hidden lives and hardships of those working in grim factories in Shenzhen, China. Presented by Canadian Stage at the Berkeley Street Theatre Njo Kong Kie performs, produces, composes and directs the musical and theatrical mix.

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Review: The Things I Carry (Dancemakers / Theatre Passe Muraille)

Choreographer Lee Su-Feh creates a participatory meditation on migration in Toronto

Developed as part of the Migrant Bodies Project, The Things I Carry is a solo performance by seasoned artist Lee Su-Feh. Presented by Theatre Passe Muraille and Dancemakers, Su-Feh tells stories while reflecting on her life and other’s surrounding the topic of migration.

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Review: Series 3 – Into the Fire (Dance Matters)

Dance Matters presents a mixed program of contemporary dance in Toronto

Series 3 – Into the Fire presented by Dance Matters at the Pia Bouman School brings together a mixed programme of highly physical and mostly contemporary dance works. The final series of the season features a mix of eerie yet quirky creatures, a sensual yet combative duet and a fiery flamenco collaboration between a dancer, vocalist, and musicians.

Fadeout, created and performed by Anne-Flore de Rochambeau of Montreal opens the show. A bar of light in the centre of the stage only highlights the lower half of the dancer’s body, anything above the bar disappears in the pitch black space. The dancer-turned-creature, fidgets with her hands against her legs, noticeably uncomfortable while teasing to dip below the bar of light. The soundscape blends the sounds of birds chirping with different echos and rattles bringing you into this other world.

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Review: Mixed Programme (Ballet BC / Live TO)

Ballet BC brings their mixed program of three works to Toronto

Live TO presents Ballet BC at the Bluma Appel Theatre with a three work Mixed Programme. The three contrasting works showcase the beautiful company dancer’s technique and versatility. From a colourless yet quirky work to a colourful and soulful piece to the music of Jimi Hendrix, the mixed programme has something for everyone. Not to mention, it also features the highly sought after choreography of Crystal Pite.

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Review: Revisor (Kidd Pivot / Canadian Stage)

Canadian Stage brings Kidd Pivot’s latest dance-theatre hybrid work to Toronto

Kidd Pivot’s Revisor completely revamps the relationship between contemporary dance and theatre. Performed at Canadian Stage’s Bluma Appel Theatre, the highly sought after choreographer, Crystal Pite, reworks what is possible in the hybrid form, creating one of her most brilliant works yet.

Co-creator and writer, Jonathon Young, takes on Nikolai Gogol’s 1836 Russian play, Revisor, or The Inspector General when translated to English. The play follows a satirical story of mistaken identity which comically showcases greed and political corruption. Young’s adapted script is recorded by Canadian actors whose voices have highly expressive cadence and emotions. This recording becomes a score for the eight dancers in the work.

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Review: Persefony Songs (Toronto Dance Theatre)

Toronto Dance Theatre presents a a dance piece inspired by Homer’s Odyssey

Persefony Songs, is a beautifully reimagined work of Christopher House’s Dora nominated Persephone’s Lunch (2001). Initially inspired by the epic of Homer’s Odyssey, the work has been repurposed eighteen years later to create a new hour-long piece as part of Toronto Dance Theatre’s reimagining repertoire project presented at the Fleck Dance Theatre.

The space opens with dozens of wooden skids hanging from the ceiling. In the back corner of the stage we find a six-member band, dressed all in black, facing the audience. In another corner, a dancer lays face down on a long table surrounded by red apples. The remaining eleven dancers are below and to the side of the stage. They begin to jump up one by one to settle into statuesque shapes before all joining together at the long table.

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