reviewed by Paula Citron
Dancing on the Edge Festival 2009
In Vancouver, July 13 to 16
I just got back from dance festivals on both coasts. Here are the best works at Vancouver’s Dancing on the Edge.
Montreal’s Deborah Dunn (a former Vancouverite) presented her extraordinary Four Quartets inspired by T.S. Eliot’s famous poems that affirm religious salvation. They are rich in abstractions and metaphor, and what is so wonderful about Dunn’s approach is that she works against the text. While she does at times mirror the words with her body, for the most part she creates images that question Eliot’s religious fervour.
Montreal’s Paul-André Fortier created She for Regina’s Robin Poitras in which she treats an electrified metal sleeping cot like an oversized harp. Every weight placed on the bed springs results in bizarre sound. By the end of the piece Poitras has accompanied herself singing an outlandish operatic aria, used one of the hollow bed supports as a horn instrument, and generally conveyed the erotic subtext of the piece with infinite good taste and sly humour.