The Arts

Toronto Dance Theatre – Christopher House’s Chiasmata

Toronto Dance Theatre – Christopher House’s Chiasmata featured image

by Paula Citron

Choreographer Christopher House, artistic director of Toronto Dance Theatre, has redefined himself in his new work Chiasmata by creating a new dance language. The magnificent TDT dancers stumble, shudder, twitch, hiccup, slither and contort.

A “chiasma” is the Greek word for a point of crossing, and in simplistic terms, House’s “Chiasmata” has become the wellspring for encounters, both with self and with others, either by memory or in life.

This new physical vocabulary goes far beyond the norms of gestural communication. The body has become an instrument where every part contributes to the movement language. The dancers speak with their elbows, knees and ankles, as improbable as that sounds.

In fact, every physicality seems to have a word or a phrase attached to it. I could instinctively understand everything that the dancers were saying to themselves, each other, or to the audience. That is the marvel that House and his dancers have created.

Toronto Dance Theatre appears until Saturday.

From Premiere Dance Theatre, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.

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