With La Playlist, choreographer and musician Delphine Véronneau is offering a show that will look familiar to fans of Frédérick Gravel: a cabaret with eight dancers, musicians and actors performing 14 little bubbles that don’t last more than 4 minutes each. As mistress of ceremony, Véronneau is just as charming as Gravel, though more earnest, which could at times be a bit cringe-worthy to more cynical audience members. Even if you’re a sad gay like me and the upbeat and exuberant musical cabaret numbers don’t do it for you, La Playlist moves along at a fast pace and, in but a few minutes, a new bubble will appear that will most likely charm you as much as its creator.
Sasha Kleinplatz's Chorus Two..., photo by Celia Spenard-Ko
À la sortie de Piss in the Pool, que retient-on cette année? Surtout Flotsam, la pièce de Leanne Dyer pour laquelle les cinq interprètes sont cachés sous d’imposants costumes composés de centaines de sacs de plastique. Trois grosses boules couleur vert menthe – les sacs du Supermarché PA – mais dont la couche s’avère être gracieuseté du Jean-Coutu, et deux chenilles de plastique, une blanche et l’autre noir (on se tient ici dans la palette limitée de Glad). C’est un défilé de mode, c’est un rituel consommateur, mais c’est surtout un petit monde étrange et aux images marquantes.
On remarque aussi la rigueur que la chorégraphe Sasha Kleinplatz amène à tous ses projets avec Chorus Two… Après s’être entouré de femmes pour All the Ladies, c’est maintenant sur cinq hommes qu’elle projette son travail toujours très physique. Avec leurs complets noirs, les danseurs font penser à un Édouard Lock vidé de ses muses féminines.
La New Yorkaise Shannon Gillen offre une introduction à la soirée qui nous plonge immédiatement dans un univers inquiétant avec WOLFMAN Redux. Le visage de la seule danseuse au fond de la piscine est recouvert de papier métallique. Son mouvement reflète le désarroi et l’anxiété que pourrait causer un manque d’oxygène.
Ces trois pièces se retrouvent toutes en première partie, alors on peut deviner que la deuxième n’est pas tout à fait du même calibre. Toutefois, il y a Manuel Roque qui se démarque avec trou (pour deux) (à capella), un duo aux airs de compétition sadique qu’il danse avec Lucie Vigneault.
Piss in the Pool 2011
18 juin à 20h30
Bain Saint-Michel, 5300 Saint-Dominique
Billets : 12$
Clap for the Wolfman, photo by Corrine Furman
Imagine you’re a wolfman. At night, you’re traveling with a pack of wolves. Then, as soon as day breaks, they end up surrounding you. No longer one of their own, you have suddenly gone from friend to prey. Their teeth could pierce through your skin just as easily as you could pierce through a body made of balloons.
Things can shift just as quickly in Clap for the Wolfman, a dance show by Shannon Gillen that the New York choreographer is presenting at the Fringe. Like night becomes day, the relationship between the five women performing can switch on a dime. Friendly one moment, they can be cold and even threatening the next.
A woman with a long braid gets down to a two-piece black spandex suit that displays her athletic body in movement. Behind her, a life-size skeleton made of balloons imitates her. Two women sitting on the edge of the stage use microphones to create amplified sounds of the dancer’s moving body as they imagine them, turning the micro intro macro. The body is fragmented by the space between balloons, parts rather than whole.
However, it is in partner work that Gillen excels. In duets, her dancers often become intertwined, forcing her to find creative solutions to the progression of their movement.
In a playful section, performers pass a microphone around and, holding different positions, articulate their body into words. Her palm open and arm straight in front of her, a woman says, “This is me dancing in the 80s. This is me showing my wedding ring. This is me when I’m surrounded by wolves.” This exercise demands from the performers an awareness of their body in its present state at the same time as they must recall a body memory that overlaps it. They must consciously observe through their body how it organizes itself in relation to different external elements.
Things don’t appear as light-hearted when a dancer hits planks of woods together. The lack of clear motivations behind her actions makes them look so senseless as to be menacing.
The lighting might be the element that speaks the most to Gillen’s talents. Often, a single spot is used to light the entire stage from the front, so that the dancers’ monster shadows become a sinister backdrop. There is a tableau during which a performer holds the spot in her lap and shakes her unzipped hoodie on both sides of the light, making the shadows flicker like a stroboscopic television left on at night. I say that such details speak of Gillen’s talents because it reflects the choreographer’s ability to do a lot with little. Clap for the Wolfman is full of ingenious finds, from its use of light and sound to its choreography.
Clap for the Wolfman
June 15 at 10pm; June 17 at 6:45pm; June 18 at 8:45pm; June 19 at 3:15pm
has an MA in Film Studies from Concordia University, though he mostly writes about dance. He is a reporter and producer for the cultural radio show Quartier Général on CIBL 101,5 FM. His fiction has appeared in Headlight Anthology, Cactus Heart, and Birkensnake.
s.verstricht [at] gmail [dot] com