Choreographer Peter Quanz is one of the fastest rising stars in the world of dance. His company, Q Dance, presents a showcase of three of his most joyful works November 13-16.
"We have had so much fun putting this program together," he said. "I don't think we've ever laughed so much in rehearsal.
"This is a serious time in so many ways and a lot of theatre is very heavy and dramatic and speaks to that," he continued. "But I think we also need to have art and work at the highest level at the highest calibre of technique, of training, that is also fun, that also is able to go into satire, into farce and treat that really seriously with the best artists that we have available."
His newest and most innovative piece is Murder Afoot, a multi-media comedic murder mystery ballet in which all of the characters die. In it, a video camera does a live-stream projection from a solo that takes place in the lobby of the theatre while the audience watches inside the theatre. They watch scenes from backstage and see dancers superimposed into other environments.
"It changes the accessibility of space," said Quanz. "We're so attuned as a society to looking at screens, to watching video images, that to combine that in front of us in a live situation with a 300 year old art form is really fun because we can see the dancers on stage and then we can see close-ups of them at the same time, or a different perspective of them at the same time. It gives a more three dimensionality to the performance."
The other works on the program include Quantz by Quanz, a neoclassical ballet from 2005 that tests the ballet dancers' classical vocabulary, but in a contemporary way.
Double Bounce features dancers in flat tutus with flexible edges that can be manipulated and twisted into different forms. The dance was performed by the National Ballet of Cuba where it picked up influences of salsa.
Peter Quanz formed Q Dance with a group of hand-picked of dancers in 2010. They have performed to great critical and audience acclaim in Ottawa, New York and Cuba.
Q Dance's sold-out performances take place Nov. 13 - 16 at the Gas Station Arts Centre.