reviewed by Paula Citron
Choreographed by Lola MacLaughlin
Performed by Alison Denham, Caroline Farquhar, Ziyian Swan, Susan Kania and Ron Stewart
At the beginning of the Lola Dance concert at the Enwave Theatre, it was announced that senior Vancouver choreographer Lola MacLaughlin had just passed away after a long battle with cancer. That her piece Provincial Essays was being performed on tour became a testament to her art. MacLaughlin would have wanted her choreography to take precedence over her death.
Provincial Essays is another of MacLaughlin’s works inspired by her beloved British Columbia. The piece began in MacLaughlin’s inimitably droll way – with each of her five dancers announcing a study such as “seed pod in the wind” or “sitting on the beach” or “chicken place” which were then enacted in movement. Provincial Essays then became a dance stream of consciousness that progressed through a series of abstract scenarios capturing various images of the province, such as the Seaside Collection and the Bird Group.
As with all of MacLaughlin’s environmental works, the secret was to give into the flow of her imaginative images.