by Paula Citron
Vancouver-based battery opera is one of the most innovative dancetheatre companies in Canada. Their new piece “[storm]” certainly lived up to expectations.
The company is headed by composer/theatre artist David McIntosh and choreographer Lee Su-Feh. Their works generally follow a pattern of locking on to a simple theme, and then allowing their immense imagination to riff off into many tangents that fuse dance, text and music in cunning ways.
The epicentre of “[storm]” is the idea of how do boys become men, with side trips into relationships between fathers and sons, and how shared history impacts on generations. The philosophical implications are played out in pivotal ideas like machismo, bravado, and competitiveness, not to mention cruelty and violence. Their basic metaphor is the sea and sailors – the epitome of manliness – with jaunty sea shanties driving the martial arts based choreography.
Like all battery opera productions, one comes away with more questions than answers. This is compelling but disturbing dancetheatre indeed.
From the Theatre Centre, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.