Wednesday, March 17, 2010

After the Ball

Last night, as part of the 2010 Vancouver International Dance Festival, Richard and I attended a performance of Christopher House and Toronto Dance Theatre's Dis/(sol/ve)r at the Vancouver Playhouse. A sixty-minute work for nine dancers (five men and four women), after the silliness of Marie Chouinard's bloated Golden Mean last week in the same venue, the work felt very grown-up. Starting with the elegantly-attired dancers, with the men in tailored suits and the women in flowing sating gowns. With chairs off to the sides, and multiple entrances and exits, as well as multiple partnering configurations among the dancers (some of them prompting competitive responses or jealous reactions), the piece had an "at the ball" feel to it, with the joy and the complexity of coming together in celebration evident in the flowing spiral patterns created by the dancers' linked bodies.

But the piece also had a melancholic "after the ball" feel as well, as the bodily relationships established between the dancers (most powerfully reflected in the first hug exchanged between the solo female and male dancers on stage) are also given their incorporeal counterpoint in the succession of bodies that collapse on stage just as they are about to be hugged. A metaphor for what we would like to, but cannot always, hold on to from our fleeting encounters with others. And a reminder that what most powerfully connects us, in addition to our shared carapaces of flesh, the molecules between us.

The only disappointing thing about last night was how empty the theatre was. TDT is playing the Playhouse with the same show again tonight. Get out there people! And check out the other offerings at the Festival, which are many and amazing.

As for yours truly, tonight it's Azure Barton and company at the Norman Rothstein Theatre as part of the Chutzpah! Festival. Then on Thursday it's Nixon in China at the Queen E. And finally Hive 3 at Great Northern Way on Friday.

Good to be back into the swing of performance-going.


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