Torent of struggling energy

The Brutal Telling

Venue: Performance Works, Granville Island

Dates: 15-18 November, 2001

Reviewer: Brian Robinson

The vast sparse stage is dim and full of foreboding. The static silence is then engulfed by the haunting piano of Veda Hille's Entrance, while massive sepia toned projections from the life of Emily Carr bring light.

Whoosh! In a torrent of twists, swirls, jerks and funky little wiggles Ziyian Kwan injects the powerful desperation of life. This harsh contrast of somber reflective melancholy and frustrated struggling energy, mirrors the cycles of Carr's life as a female artist in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Mascall Dance commissioned the score from Veda Hille in 1996, after which she said "all the words were appropriated directly from the writings of Emily Carr".

The choreography is tense and intense. The three dancers, who alternate in the role as Carr, perform a rampant ballet of tugs and pulls at each other, contorting their lithe bodies into the restricted areas of a luggage trolley or beneath an easel, which manifests the boundaries imposed by society and emphasizes the insecurities which so often accompany artistic talent.

Jennifer Mascall, Veda Hille, Marthe Leonard, Olivia Thorvaldson and Ziyian Kwan have created a work of such brilliance that it is wholly appropriate the subject is Emily Carr.

2001, Brian Robinson

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