Review: Revisor (Kidd Pivot / Canadian Stage)

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

Review: Persefony Songs (Toronto Dance Theatre)

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 bla

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. ‘After the smoke settles, what will we be left with, if not joy?’ was the highlight of the night.

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

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.

Jer(k)ome Robbins and the Orchestra Pit

Jerome Robbins was a jerk. He is also highly regarded as a creative genius and one of the top choreographers from ballet to Broadway of the 20th century. Having choreographed huge hits like West Side Story, On the Town and Fiddler on The Roof, it is hard to argue with his five Tony and two Academy Awards. Robbins has had a lasting impression on the dance world. However, he has still yet to escape the perception of being an awful and cold-hearted man to dance for.

Review: SKOW (Citadel + Compagnie)

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. Walking into the theatre, you are g

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

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. Gold, glitter, tulle and a vast amount of colourful fabric transform the Toronto Dance Theatre studio into an alternate world. Dancers remain in stillness for an extended period, cove

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

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. Before the performance, I received multiple emails inviting me to read t

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 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

The Red Wall: How Social Media is Changing Commercial Dance in Canada

Excerpt from January/ February 2019 Issue of The Dance Current Magazine: There is a certain magic to the last ten minutes of a dance class. The choreography has been taught and embodied. The stress of learning more choreography is finally removed. The adrenaline of the dancer is pumping, as they are ready to perform and give everything they have for the final minutes of class. Class videos capture these last few minutes, embodying this energy and captivating new viewers to join in on this thrill.

Review: The Nutcracker (Toronto International Ballet Theatre)

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. The performance begins with a sad sigh from the audience as an announcement is made that t

Review: A Christmas Carol (Three Ships Collective)

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. Built in 182

Review: A Very Leila Christmas (Theatre Passe Muraille)

Through a Persian princess’s eyes, Christmas begins when the Starbuck’s cups turn red, sugar walking sticks are sold, and the arguing begins about when it’s appropriate to play the music with the bells in it. A Very Leila Christmas, presented by Theatre Passe Muraille and A Bad Girl Leila, is the best way to get into the REAL Christmas spirit. An immigrant to Canada, Leila has an exciting job at a Rogers call centre during the holiday season. As she begins to learn about Christmas, she offers t

Review: Asheq: Ritual Music to Cure a Lover (Onelight Theatre)

Persian mythology is brought into modern day storytelling in Asheq: Ritual Music to Cure a Lover. The fully immersive multi-media work is created with boundless cloth and a single performer who takes on multiple roles at Harbourfront Centre Theatre. Created by Shahin Sayadi of Onelight Theatre, the performance explores the struggles of tradition within a small community. In a small fishing village on the Persian Gulf, Farhad loses the love of his life to childbirth, resulting in a lifetime h

Review: Grand Finale (Hofesh Shechter)

Internationally celebrated choreographer Hofesh Shechter returns to Toronto with a smoke-filled stage and a chaotic world in freefall in Grand Finale at the Bluma Appel Theatre. Grand Finale does not mark his final work, but presents a dreary yet beautiful apocalyptic world. In this world, dancers are not distressed in a typical end-of-the-world fashion; rather they blankly move through a chaotic realm. Their movements are loose-limbed as they shuffle and shudder around the stage with supple

Review: Older & Reckless #41 (MOonhORsE Dance Theatre)

Older and Reckless #41 presented at Harbourfront’s Studio Theatre has everything you need, from laughs and love, to downright creepy and dark. The six work bill, curated by Claudia Moore, hosted by Tabby Johnson, is performed by some of the most celebrated older artists – as the company states, made more reckless as time goes by. The performance starts with a group warm-up, bringing the community together in the space (or lack thereof to move your arms – but all is part of the fun). Next, MoW!

Review: The Pigeon (Alumnae Theatre)

The Pigeon, presented in the Fireworks Festival at Alumnae Theatre, is a new, exciting and daring play for mature audiences. With beautiful relationships between contrasting characters, and a plot for revenge – this play will take you on a rollercoaster ride from start to finish. Written by Chloë Whitehorn, The Pigeon follows a distressed millennial – Jegger (John Shubat), who befriends an older woman, Malone (Liz Best). Joined by a mutual hatred for Jegger’s mother, they are drawn together in

Review: Figaro 2.0 (ProArteDanza)

ProArteDanza beautifully re-imagines ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ (Le Nozze Di Figaro) in Figaro 2.0 at the Fleck Dance Theatre. Taking on the large task of a three-hour opera, award-winning co-choreographers, Roberto Campanella and Robert Glumbek create a gorgeous and witty ninety-minute contemporary dance work. Figaro 2.0 is based on the comic opera, composed by Mozart in 1786. The story has many twists and turns following misunderstandings, manipulations and infidelities. I highly recommend read

Review: Saucy Jack and The Space Vixens (Small but Mighty Productions)

Glitter boots, murder and a whole lot of disco made my night as I watched the raunchy and outrageous musical Saucy Jack and The Space Vixens at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. What a fun night out with a talented cast! How can you go wrong with numbers like “All I Need is Disco,” “Glitter Boots Saved My Life” and “Fetish Number Out of Nowhere.” The musical is campy and full of glitz and glamour as the cast interacts with the audience as if they are patrons of the futuristic club – Saucy Jacks.

Review: Exhale (Sore for Punching You)

Allison Cummings’ Exhale presented at DanceMakers Centre for Creation shows the beautiful complexities of communication through breath – reminding us of its vital and universal nature, the rhythm that it holds and the intense emotional effects it presents to others. The beautiful sound design by Dora Award winner, Lyon Smith, brings in the audience before the show begins. The required silence of the audience, generally communicated by the universal sign of dimming the lights is forgotten, the e
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