Company: Nova Dance Collective, Winnipeg, MB
Venue: 8 - The Rachel Browne Theatre
This show is raw, provocative, full of questions, and occasionally uneven – and it is not to be missed.
This show is raw, provocative, full of questions, and occasionally uneven - and it is not to be missed. The eight pieces in the production (each choreographed and performed by different members of the Nova Dance Collective) highlight the passion and accomplishments of some of Winnipeg's most interesting young and up-and-coming dancers and choreographers.
The show opens with the haunting aerial work of Janelle Hacault; titled "Lament," it is visually stunning, and powerfully conveys grief, stasis, and fear. Rachelle Bourget's "of dystopia"(inspired by Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale
and performed by Sarah Helmer) is another stand-out piece. Zorya Arrow's "Normal Development Turmoil" is remarkable not just for her dancing, but also for her deft use of props, theatricality, recorded textbook commentary, and for her skillful comedic timing. One of the strengths of this collective is the theatricality integrated it into so much of the choreography.
The show lags at times, and some pieces are not as strong or as thoroughly developed. The weakest piece is the overlong, cliched film segment; in this post-Madonna world, let me request that we never again require an audience to watch a young woman in a red dress awkwardly explore her sexuality in a church nave.
The final ensemble piece, however, is worth the wait - inspired by a Bukowski poem and danced to a Nine Inch Nails soundtrack, it is pounding and exhilarating. Alexandra Garrido's lighting designs throughout this production are truly spectacular.
These performers and creators are clearly bursting with curiosity, creativity, and passion. They have created a show that demands that the audience do more than passively watch - we are pulled into these performances, colluding in experiencing the complications, questions, hurts, defiance, and fears in this show and in the world.