Recent Dance Reviews

Dance Review – DanceWorks 40th Anniversary Presentation

DanceWorks 40th Anniversary Presentation takes place at Harbourfront Centre Theatre, Nov. 16-18.

Mimi Beck

When DanceWorks began 40 years ago, it was one of several presenter dance series in Toronto. Now, as it celebrates its 40th anniversary, it is almost the only game in town, which makes its longevity all the more notable.

One expects tributes to the past on such an anniversary and DW curator Mimi Beck’s program certainly gives us that look back. There are also several premieres, and –Read More

Dance Preview – Life Eternal choreographed by Janak Khendry

Janak Khendry

Introduction to Janak Khendry and his new dance piece Life Eternal

Life Eternal is at the Fleck Dance Theatre Nov. 9-11.

At 78, choreographer/designer/sculptor Janak Khendry is the doyen of Indian classical dance in Canada. Roughly every two years, he produces a gigantic dance piece of sumptuous beauty and deep philosophical inquiry. This year’s offering is Life Eternal, which examines the pathway to immortality in three great religions – Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism. When it comes to themes, Khendry –Read More

Dance Preview: Choreographer Kathleen Rea’s Men’s Circle – Dance Meets Psychotherapy

Kathleen ReaPhoto Simon Tanenbaum

Introduction to Kathleen Rea

Men’s Circle (Nov. 3-5) is Rea’s exploration of the vulnerability of men. She is the creator, writer, director and choreographer.

As a parallel career to her dance projects, Rea has maintained a private psychotherapy practice for 15 years. The wellspring of Men’s Circle was inspired by her own clients. Her life progression has been a journey from a troubled ballerina with an eating disorder, to a well-adjusted mother of two.

Rea studied at Canada’s –Read More

Dance Preview: Catching up with Matjash Mrozewski – the choreographer/director has two premieres

Introduction to Matjash Mrozewski

The next two weeks feature two Mrozewski premieres. Future Perfect Continuous, created with Anna Chatterton, (ProArteDanza, Nov. 1-4), and Abiding, a solo for Evelyn Hart (Older & Reckless, Nov. 10 & 11).

Mrozewski graduated from the National Ballet School in 1993. During his career as a dancer, he performed with the National Ballet of Canada, Le Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, and Les Ballets de Monte Carlo. Early on he had shown a penchant for choreography, –Read More

Concert Preview: Unsound Toronto Does Halloween

Introduction to Unsound Toronto Does Halloween

Two extraordinary concerts are taking place at the Bluma Appel Theatre on Fri. Oct. 27 and Fri. Nov. 3, which marks the third incarnation of Unsound Toronto, the brainchild of Unsound Festival artistic director Mat Schulz and executive director Malgorzata (Gosia) Plysa, based in Krakow, Poland.

Those first two ground-breaking manifestations took place at the derelict Hearn Generating Station in 2015 and 2016 as part of the Luminato Festival. They created a sensation with their –Read More

Dance Theatre Review – Adelheid/Theatre Centre – what it’s like

The best way to describe choreographer Heidi Strauss’ latest work, what it’s like, is a stream of consciousness about brotherhood. The totality of the piece is brotherhood looked at from very personal relationships to the larger metaphor of a world in chaos. Three charismatic male dancers – Michael Caldwell, Luke Garwood and Naishi Wang (who are listed as co-creators) – move on a random journey with the audience literally following them through their travels. They laugh, challenge, one-up, pretend –Read More

Dance Review – DanceWorks/Jackie Burroughs is Dead & what are you going to do about it?, choreographed by DA Hoskins

DA Hoskins usually creates busy pieces inspired by sophisticated intellectual inquiry. Elaborate is a good word to describe his epics that employ text, sets, and visual media, all rooted in a deep emotional base that pervades his choreography.  Jackie Burroughs is Dead & what are you going to do about it? has Hoskins going back to the basics. Three dancers, an empty stage, and a live musicmaker are the sum total of the forces employed to express this work.

The –Read More

Dance Review – National Ballet of Canada/The Winter’s Tale

The English ballet tradition has produced great choreographic storytellers. Think Sir Frederick Ashton, Sir Kenneth MacMillan and John Cranko. Down the line, Christopher Wheeldon will be added to this august list. At this point in time, he is caught between ballet convention and original thought. Choreographic aspects of The Winter’s tale are routine, while other segments jump off the stage with innovative bravura.

The Winter’s Tale is Wheeldon’s second full-length story ballet, following hard on the heels of the –Read More

Post Tiff Dance Wrap – ProArteDanza, Peter Chin’s Woven, and Toronto Heritage Dance

No one in the performing arts who is in their right mind plans an event during TIFF. That is just plain artistic suicide. The great tragedy of this fact is that just after TIFF, you tend to get dance bunched together. Thus, the first weekend after TIFF had three wonderful dance events running opposite each other and competing for audiences. In one word – bummer, but on the plus side, what a feast for the eyes!

ProArteDanza

ProArteDanza is –Read More

Fall for Dance North Festival, Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 – Backgrounder

Toronto used to be awash in national and international dance, but over time, financial problems led to the demise of key dance series. That is why Fall for Dance North is one of the best things to happen to the local dance scene in years.

FFDN is modelled after Fall for Dance, the storied series launched in 2004 by New York City Centre, the legendary home of performing arts in the Big Apple. With the idea of developing dance audiences, –Read More