The Arts

Vancouver/Dancing on the Edge Festival 2007 – Serge Bennathan's Je, Tu, Il ou Elle

Vancouver/Dancing on the Edge Festival 2007 – Serge Bennathan's Je, Tu, Il ou Elle featured image

by Paula Citron

This week I’m at Vancouver’s Dancing on the Edge Festival.

Serge Bennathan, former artistic director of Toronto’s Dancemakers, has created a very deep, very physical, very fragmented, and very disturbing work for the Vancouver company Anatomica called “Je, Tu, Il ou Elle”.

Bennathan’s five dancers are totally self-absorbed while, at the same time, they struggle to find romantic relationships. Bennathan has always been a challenging choreographer but this piece pushes boundaries of physicality. The movement is brutal as the dancers hurl themselves (and each other) through space, but Bennathan also swings back to delicate, spasmodic gestures, and even stillness, when needed.

The choreographer prefers mature dancers, and each one portrays a raw, earthy, gut-wrenching slice of life experience. Bennathan’s majestic if troubling choreography is graphic, oblique, jarring, and sometimes funny, just like reality.

Kudos to dancers Susan Elliott, Ron Stewart, Anne Cooper, Rob Kitsos and Kathleen McDonough for their wit, wisdom and physical endurance.

Dancing on the Edge continues until Jul. 14.

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

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