reviewed by Paula Citron
Ballet Biarritz (Le Sang des Etoiles choreography by Thierry Malandain)
BJM Danse Montréal (Short Works: 24 choreographed by Crystal Pite and Jack in a Box choreographed by Aszure Barton)
Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur
The calling card of Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur, situated north of Montreal, is the premiere of international dance works. The festival also features Canadian dance companies and an eclectic potpourri of music.
France’s Ballet Biarritz opened FASS with Thierry Malandain’s Le Sang des Etoiles, which proved to be utterly refreshing, beautifully danced and imaginatively conceived. The piece is inspired by the myth of Callisto and her son Arcas.
Malandain bends and moulds his dancers into stunning shapes that flow seamlessly together. On the other hand, he throws in flexed feet and arms, shudders, contractions, distortions, and flat-footed jumps to deliberately startle the eye. Classical music is used as social commentary.
Also appearing at FASS’s opening weekend was the always popular BJM Danse Montréal in a clever program that twinned Vancouver’s Crystal Pite’s Short Works: 24 with New York-based Aszure Barton’s Jack in a Box, The women are both witty and demanding dancesmiths.
Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur continues until Aug. 8.