All posts by Deanne Kearney

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.

Continue reading Review: Revisor (Kidd Pivot / Canadian Stage)

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.

Continue reading Review: Persefony Songs (Toronto Dance Theatre)

Review: Series 2 – Rebel Yells (Dance Matters)

Dance Matters presents a series of highly physical and intimate works for Toronto audiences

Series 2 – Rebel Yells presented by Dance Matters is a collection of highly physical, intimate and thoughtful dance works. Performed at the Pia Bouman School of Ballet, the show contains five pieces, mainly performed through a contemporary dance medium, with the exception of a Kathak Indian solo dance work.

Continue reading Review: Series 2 – Rebel Yells (Dance Matters)

2019 Progress Review: Blood on the Dance Floor (ILBIJERRI Theatre Company)

Toronto’s Progress Festival presents a tragi-comic mix of dance, theatre, and storytelling

A tragicomedy mixed with a hopeful love story – Blood on the Dance Floor presented at the Progress Festival is an emotional mix of theatre, dance and storytelling. The one-man show is performed by Australian Jacob Boehm of ILBIJERRI Theatre Company. Boehm connects his identities–gay, Black and HIV positive–through a motif of blood, which defines his fears and generates discrimination against him. The work is curated by The Theatre Centre and Native Earth Performance Arts. Continue reading 2019 Progress Review: Blood on the Dance Floor (ILBIJERRI Theatre Company)

Review: SKOW (Citadel + Compagnie)

A full-length solo dance piece by Johanna Bergfelt takes the stage in Toronto

SKOW, an acronym for ‘some kind of wonder,’ is a full-length solo work performed by Johanna Bergfelt. Presented by Citadel + Compagnie, SKOW follows Bergfelt’s life and things that inspire a sense of wonder in her, as both a noun and a verb. A highly respected and established dancer and teacher, Bergfelt is paired with equally as high-profile choreographer William Yong of Zata Omm Dance Projects. As a fan of both artists, I jumped at a chance to see the work. Continue reading Review: SKOW (Citadel + Compagnie)

Review: This Shape, We Are In and Slow Dance (Toronto Dance Theatre)

Toronto Dance Theatre presents an experimental double bill

Toronto Dance Theatre presents an experimental double bill at the Winchester Street Theatre. Marie Lambin-Gagnon’s Slow Dance begins the night with a conversation between dancers and objects in an otherworldly environment. Followed by a reimagined This Shape, We Are In, choreographed by New York’s Jeanine Durning. Continue reading Review: This Shape, We Are In and Slow Dance (Toronto Dance Theatre)

Review: Kiviuq Returns: An Inuit Epic (The Qaggiq Collective)

An epic Inuit play performed entirely in Inuktitut is now on stage in Toronto

Performed entirely in Inuktitut – Kiviuq Returns: An Inuit Epic by The Qaggiq Collective is a unique and important experience for Canadian audiences. Presented at Tarragon Theatre, the performance follows Kiviuq, the eternal wanderer and legendary hero of Inuit stories through five different narratives. The company uses shapeshifting creatures, throat singing and drumming to take you on a magical journey across the Arctic.

Continue reading Review: Kiviuq Returns: An Inuit Epic (The Qaggiq Collective)

2019 Next Stage Theatre Festival Review: Anatomy of a Dancer (Breakaway Entertainment)

Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly? A question I and many other dance enthusiasts have been plagued with all our lives! Although they state you do not have to choose, Breakaway Entertainment makes a strong case for Kelly. Anatomy of A Dancer: The Life Of A Song & Dance Man presented in Toronto at the Next Stage Theatre Festival pays homage to Kelly, one of America’s most influential performers. Chronicling his life from Pittsburgh to Hollywood, his romances, famous performances and many of his contributions to the theatre world.

Continue reading 2019 Next Stage Theatre Festival Review: Anatomy of a Dancer (Breakaway Entertainment)

Review: The Nutcracker (Toronto International Ballet Theatre)

Christmas classic arrives on the Toronto stage this holiday season!

The magic of the Tchaikovsky score paired with gorgeous ballet dancers never fails to spark the Christmas spirit inside of me. Toronto International Ballet Theatre performs the classic story of The Nutcracker with its typical grandiosity, bringing smiles to mine and many faces of all ages in the audience. The performance retains many Nutcracker traditions, however features a few unique artistic touches.

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Review: A Christmas Carol (Three Ships Collective)

A site-specific production of Dickens’ classic play is on at Toronto’s Campbell House Museum

What would Christmas be without A Christmas Carol? With multiple renditions happening around the city every year, The Three Ships Collective with the support of Soup Can Theatre, present a site-specific adaptation of the Charles Dickens’ classic novel. Taking place at the historic Cambell House, the audience follows the Victorian-era penny-pincher, Ebenezer Scrooge, room to room as you watch his story of self-redemption courtesy of apparitions of Christmas past, present and future. Continue reading Review: A Christmas Carol (Three Ships Collective)