All posts by Deanne Kearney

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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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.

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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)