Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Catching up with Victor Quijada


While his summer hasn't been as lucrative as Édouard Lock's spring it has been busy, and not so bad fiscally, either.

I'm certain that there are other reviews about Rubberbandance's summer tour - but these are the one's that I came across.

Preview and Review by Susan Broili in the Durham Herald Sun. Killer quote: ...every once in a while, a great talent appears with something so creative and innovative you wonder how anyone dreams it up, much less makes it work...Choreographer Victor Quijada is such a talent.

Byron Woods of Indyweek doing a Preview and an Interview. Killer Quote: ...you're totally immersed in the world of the performance...

Review by Roy C. Dicks at the News Observer. Killer Quote: Quijada's style is arresting and definitely worth taking in...

Kate Dobbs Ariail writes a review in the Classical Voice of North Carolina. Killer Quote: ...every year there is at least one company you’ve never heard of from some unlikely place doing something that sounds like it could be terrible — and it turns out to be marvelous. This year it is RUBBERBANDance Group from Montreal...

Julie Potter of the San Francisco Examiner gets all scientific in her review. Killer Quote: Sliding in socks, energy waves fluidly from one dancer to another. I am swept into the vortex and taken for a ride.

And then he finished the summer with a flourish, winning a $25,000 Princess Grace Award [pdf alert] so that he could choreograph something for the Hubbard Street Dance in Chicago next month.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Congrats to Pascal Beauchesne and Le Lab


It looks like they are going to New York City!!

Doing old dances


A very informative post over at The Ballet Bag on Reconstructions.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Movement Museum Episode 75: Ulka Mohanty, Fred Gravel & 2fik


Our show from August 26, 2010
(Download: MP3 81MB, Flac 632MB, Ogg Vorbis 42MB or Stream)

Movement Museum a radio show broadcast Thursdays at 14h on CKUT 90.3 FM in Montreal, co-hosts Chris 'Zeke' Hand, Allison Elizabeth Burns and Bettina Forget talk about dance in Montreal. In this show Chris 'Zeke' Hand and Bettina Forget talk with Ulka Mohanty, Fred Gravel and 2fik about their practices and upcoming performances.

The theme song is Rock Explosion and the Shaking Hearts' version of Do You Want to Dance, the dance poem of the week is They Danced by the Roadside by Gustaf Fröding, and the music played during the show is from the CD Fundamental Destiny by The Art Ensemble of Chicago with Don Pullen.


Bettina Forget and Chris 'Zeke' Hand

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Jose Navas in BC


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Duck Wife Gets 4 Stars!!! Woo-Hoo!


Last week Todd Babiak of the Edmonton Journal reviewed The Duck Wife and gave it Four Stars! Congrats Allison Elizabeth!

Statistics about the Dance Audience


Last year, 2009 to be clear, according to the Institut de la statistique du Québec, there were 204 different dance shows in Québec. Each show averaged 3.9 performances, and each performance averaged 345 people watching (although almost 51 of those tickets, or 14.7% did not pay). And the average show was booked into a theatre that sat slightly more than 500 people.

Gross ticket revenue from all dance shows in Québec in 2009 was $9,578,025.06. And each show's ticket revenue averaged $46,951.49.

More facts and figures can be found here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

André Pappathomas is looking for singers


Although according to this ad, he is looking specifically for experimental singers. If you'd like to hear the sort of stuff André Pappathomas composes, try his MySpace page.

He would like you to sing as part of a performance with Louise Bédard, Frédérick Gravel, les Soeurs Schmutt, Daniel Soulières, Catherine Tardif and Marc Béland that is happening at l'Agora de la Danse in May.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Movement Museum Episode 74: Ethel Butler, Peter Boneham


Our show from August 19, 2010
(Download: MP3 77MB, Flac 602MB, Ogg Vorbis 41MB or Stream)

Movement Museum a radio show broadcast Thursdays at 14h on CKUT 90.3 FM in Montreal, co-hosts Chris 'Zeke' Hand, Allison Elizabeth Burns and Bettina Forget talk about dance in Montreal. In this show Chris 'Zeke' Hand plays part one of a three part interview with Ethel Butler, and then discusses with Greg 'Krypto' Selinger and Gelymar Sanchez, Peter In Process: Peter Boneham's Sixty Years in Dance by Sara Porter.

The theme song is Gerry & the Pacemakers' version of Do You Want to Dance, the dance poem of the week is Nijinski by Giorgos Seferis, and the music played during the show is from Kidd Jordan, Hamid Drake and William Parker's CD Palm of Soul.


Chris 'Zeke' Hand

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Toronto Maple Leafs & The National Ballet School, a match made in heaven


Yes, it is a great program, and I am extremely happy to hear that there are scholarships to the National Ballet School, but this 3 minute commercial, video pat on the back is horrible.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Onde de Choc by Ginette Laurin at the Festival TransAmériques


OK I'm a little bit late. I saw Onde de Choc back at the end of May and it is now August, I'm two months late - or if you prefer to put a positive spin on things - I contemplated her work for more than 60 days. It didn't help. If you want to cut to the chase and avoid the rest of what I write about the performance, no matter how hard I tried, I didn't like it. If you don’t want to avoid my writing (thanks!) then continue making your eyes move left to right and top to bottom as they are doing now.

Let's start with the easiest and simplest; The show is called Onde de Choc, or if you prefer in English, Shock Wave, and there is a big-ass box in the middle of the stage that I presume had some contact microphones in it. Or there is some other kind of technological stuff that turns the big-ass box into a really big-ass resonator. Trust me, you. When you just so much as stroke it it could be heard all the way in the nosebleed seats (although to be honest, Usine C, where I saw it, doesn't really have any nosebleed seats) but more to the point when one of the dancers banged on it, it banged, and it banged really well. When one of the dancers stroked it, it stroked really well, too. It went pretty much from one side of the stage to the other, left a little crawl space in between it and the back wall of the stage, and filled about half the stage (I told you it was big-ass). It appeared to be made of simple plywood that I would have thought was unfinished, but given how everyone ran and slid on it, either they liked getting splinters, or it had a finish that enabled everyone to do their business without getting hurt.

Now given the title of the performance, it seems pretty much self evident that there would be something loud involved. Personally I was hoping for something a little better able to present the scope and concept. Banging on a box is fine and dandy, running on and around a box that is miked for sound is kind of cool. But if you're going to be calling your show Shock Wave, I'd prefer something that at least has the potential for knocking me on my ass, or out of my seat. Remember Todd Rundgren's song Bang on the Drum? or Volker Schlöndorff's version of The Tin Drum? This big-ass box was not quite as good as they were in presenting and performing the idea of banging on something. Maybe instead of being called Shock Wave, it could have been called Trojan Horse Masquerading as a Big-Ass Resonating Box.

But the banging on the box wasn't the only noise being made. Besides the obvious sounds made by the dancers (panting, feet hitting the floor and the box, etc.) there was stuff coming out of the speakers which I wrote in my notes sounded like "fake Phillip Glass." Except for the fact that in was Real Michael Nyman. Now I'm not certain if I am supposed to be embarrassed for me or for Mr. Nyman. Obviously the music was serial in nature, but also, obviously did not do a darn thing for me other than occupy the space between bangs.

In the press folderoll that got handed out, phrases like "Long fascinated by the fantastic and multifaceted machine that is the human body, choreographer Ginette Laurin penetrates here into its innermost depths. With Onde de choc, she aims to render visible or audible the forces that move within it, casting an inquisitive eye on the infinite possibilities of the body and its poetic power." Umm... not to burst anyone's bubble, but that reads real nice and pretty-like, but Ms. Laurin did not penetrate anything. Nor did she make anything really visible or audible in the human body not in the human body or anywhere else that I could see (although towards the end all the dancers get kind of semi-naked in a cool for 14 year-old boys sort of way). All I ended up with after the fact was a bunch of dancers running around and banging, which like playing in mud puddles and sleeping in late, is a lot of fun. But as far as making some sort of statement on the body, and its inner workings. Nope, nada, nothing. Obviously I'm not a 14 year-old boy.

But I'm getting ahead of myself, I'm still on the noises made, we haven't even begun to talk about the movements made by the performers - and this would be as good a place as any to mention all of their names: Marianne Gignac-Girard, Rémi Laurin-Ouellette, Chi Long, Robert Meilleur, James Phillips, Gillian Seaward-Boone, Audrey Thibodeau, Wen-Shuan Yang. As far as I could tell they all executed the moves that they were supposed to, and executed them well. There was nothing that they did that looked like an obvious mistake. But as this was a world premiere, I would venture a guess that there were some, I just wasn't able to see them.

Some of the words in my notes used to try and describe the movements made by the performers are: Writhing, yoga poses, slow movement with emoting, spinning, fighting, gymnastics, running, swaying, walking, herky jerky movements, throwing, sliding, martial arts, tap dancing, Indian dancing, and vogueing. Or in other words a bunch of different types movements but nothing that connects one to another. Overall there was a lot of running, and some walking. Which might have accounted for my inability to notice any mistakes.

As an aside; I'm never quite certain how I feel about watching dancers walk during a performance. One side of me says that walking is as valid of a movement as anything else. On the other side, I hear some voice telling me that the choreographer is slack and can't quite come up with any other more evocative movement to get the performers from here to there. And don't get me started about the red M&M's or the one 'shy' dancer.

Going over my notes after the fact makes me think that perhaps Ms. Laurin was trying out a bunch of stuff. Unfortunately beyond the big ass box, after more than 60 days there isn't much that stuck with me. This lack of cohesiveness in the movement could have been due to any number of reasons, front and center could have been my moving my head up and down to write notes in the dark while trying to watch the performance. Although I am more inclined to think that it has to with the structure of the movements than my ability to write in the dark. I also presume that all the dancers did their moves correctly. But as I got no real sense of cohesiveness in the dance, it was similar to the idea of "Hey! let's throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks." Which sort of made it impossible or perhaps just really difficult for me to ascertain if they were doing it good, bad or indifferently. Kind of like trying to follow a conversation that starts in English, but then quickly moves to French, Italian, Turkish, Arabic and then seven other different languages. Yeah, there is some polyglot out there who can do it, but it sure as shooting ain't me.

I don't really want to, but I guess I have got to at least mention in passing the lighting. In a nutshell, they were alright for most of the show, but at one particular point Ms. Laurin tried to blind me by aiming her lights towards the audience. I don't understand why she would want to do something like that, I thought she wanted us to be able to see the performance. Needless to say, I did not like being blinded. Not in the least bit. Nope. Un-uh.

And while I recognize that Ms. Laurin has had an extremely long career here in Quebec which in certain cases might give her a free pass, Onde de Choc was the first piece by her that I had ever seen, and as a consequence makes me think that either everyone else who has been raving about her work up the wazoo is completely and utterly out to lunch or that in fact Onde de Choc is not up to par with the rest of the body of her work, or I am completely and thoroughly wrong, or as a fourth possibility as I have said before, Montreal is the place where you can fail and get away with it. Or more succinctly, the modus operandi for dance performances here is to have 'world premiere' then take it on the road for something like three years before returning home, by which point the performance has changed so completely and thoroughly that the only thing that remains is the name (and the lack of ability to say it is another 'world premiere' - imagine how wild things would be if it was possible to have more than one 'world premiere.') which then initially suckers you into thinking that you're going to see a repeat, when in fact what you end up seeing is something completely different (and so road tested as to be better than great) that you wonder why you bothered going to the 'world premiere' in the first place.

So in a nutshell; I think Onde de Choc is like a 2002 premier cru burgundy and is fine on the ears, has overtones of Kodo drumming and a visit to your doctor. It has some extremely strong hints of future promise but should not be consumed until 2013 at the earliest.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Braid: A Movement Piece

The Chaparral High School Alumni Theatre's production of Braid: A Movement Piece during the summer of 2010.

Using a unique combination of content movement and contact improvisation dance techniques, Braid follows the story of young scientist Tim on his quest to find a Princess. A story of love, regret, obsession, and loss is told through various filters of time, from undoing our past mistakes to slowing down the world. Based on the video game of the same name by Jonathan Blow and David Hellman, Braid is a heartfelt, dark, and engaging movement piece that is guaranteed to make your mind question everything and embrace anything.

I've heard lots about Braid, and at some point will get around, myself to asking someone with an XBox to get it so I can play it. But in the meantime there's this Movement Piece for all of us who aren't gamers. 68:16 in length, and I don't know how many people saw it in the high school theatre in Colorado, but as of this posting, only 61 people had watched part seven, so you can be part of a select few if you watch all 10 parts.

Eddy Tousaint on Radio-Canada


I missed it the first time around, but after interviewing Eva Von Gencsy, I'd be remiss if I didn't bring this interview by Anne-Marie Withenshaw with Eddie Toussaint. And for whatever reasons dance gets double the amount of airtime on the radio than it does on TV.

Click here if you'd like to hear all 13:26 of it.

Out-of-towner returns to wow the locals


Erick Campos returned to l'École Supérieure de Ballet Contemprain to give some classes this summer and someone was smart enough to record it for posterity.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Episode 73: Eva Von Gencsy, Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal, Jean-Marc Généreux, So You Think You Can Dance Canada,


Our show from August 12, 2010
(Download: MP3 73MB, Flac 603MB, Ogg Vorbis 39MB or Stream)

Movement Museum a radio show broadcast Thursdays at 14h on CKUT 90.3 FM in Montreal, co-hosts Chris 'Zeke' Hand, Allison Elizabeth Burns and Bettina Forget talk about dance in Montreal. In this show Chris 'Zeke' Hand and Bettina Forget talk with Eva Von Gencsy, co-founder of Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal and Jean-Marc Généreux a judge on So You Think You Can Dance Canada.

The theme song is The Westwind Ensemble's version of Do You Want to Dance, the dance poem of the week is Reminiscences of a Dancing Man by Thomas Hardy, and the music played during the show is by the Bersarin Quartett.


Bettina Forget and Chris 'Zeke' Hand

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Choregraphers on TV


Marie Chouinard got 7 minutes of facetime on Bons baisers de France last month ostensibly because she got an entry in the 2011 Petit Larousse illustré.

If you click here, you can watch it in all its glory.

Choreographers getting divorced


I don't know who Anneli Rufus is, but she did a study on divorce, and according to her findings choreographers have a 43% chance of getting divorced.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Episode 72: Step Up 3D


Our show from August 5, 2010
(Download: MP3 74MB, Flac 609MB, Ogg Vorbis 39MB or Stream)

Movement Museum a radio show broadcast Thursdays at 14h on CKUT 90.3 FM in Montreal, co-hosts Chris 'Zeke' Hand, Allison Elizabeth Burns and Bettina Forget talk about dance in Montreal. In this show Chris 'Zeke' Hand and Bettina Forget talk with Rhonda Meier and Greg 'Krypto' Selinger about Step Up 3D.

The theme song is the Parasites's version of Do You Want to Dance, the dance poem of the week is A Dance Song by Burkhard von Hohenfels, and the music played during the show is from disc four of Oscar Peterson's Dimensions


Bettina Forget and Chris 'Zeke' Hand

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ballet Folklórico Nadxieli


Submitted without comment.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Do You Want To Dance With Me?


Wicked Cool site that tells you where you can go dancing any night of the week in the greater Montreal area. Sortable by type of dance, type of music, day of the week, dance halls and town. Along with a host of other useful information

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

SINS in BC en francais


A somewhat twisted and tortuous road... My guess is that Jacinte Armstrong was the only dancer at Dancing on the Edge who could speak French, and as a consequence she was interviewed for 11 minutes on Radio-Canada's Vu de la terrasse (some local British Colombia program) ostensibly because they were premiering Schreibstuck by Thomas Lehman - although in actual fact it sounded much more like hype and promo for the festival.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pas de deux by Norman McLaren


Wanna go to Turkey this winter?


Dance Camera Istanbul is looking for Dance Films...

Local Girl, Sarah Tryon, makes good


Actually, Sarah Tryon isn't from Montreal, but in fact, Hanmer. And as a consequence, The Sudbury Northern Life does a full feature article about her upon her graduation from the National Ballet School.

Apparently there aren't too many dancers in northern Ontario...