The Arts

Ottawa/National Arts Centre – La La La Human Steps/Amjad

Ottawa/National Arts Centre – La La La Human Steps/Amjad featured image

by Paula Citron

Choreographer Édouard Lock and his Montreal-based La La La Human Steps not only guarantee choreographic flash and dash, but eye-catching scenic effects amid large doses of theatricality. Unfortunately, Lock’s recent productions have also become style over substance, but, happily, the world premiere of “Amjad” has something to say.

Lock’s inspiration is 19th century warhorse ballet, in specific “Swan Lake” and “The Sleeping Beauty”. Because he is a visionary of dance, Lock’s intention is to deconstruct the ethos of classical ballet to create a whole new 21st century aesthetic. The score purloins famous themes from these ballets and weaves them into a modernist and, at times, discordant tapestry. Genders are bent and ballet etiquette is thrown out the window through Lock’s dangerous and violent dance vocabulary.

The result is a refreshing homage to the past while relentlessly pointing to the future, as Lock transforms classical ballet into glam punk on pointe shoes.

“Amjad” tours to Toronto’s Hummingbird Centre on May 15.

From Ottawa, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.

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