The Dance Centre
9th biennial Dance in Vancouver

Dates and Venue 20-23 November 2013, Wed –Sat 7pm and 9pm | Scotiabank Dance Centre, 677 Davie Street

Wen Wei Dance Made in China Created by Sammy Chien, Qiu Xia He, Gao Yanjinzi, Wen Wei Wang

Highgate Created by Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg, Director: Mentor Nigel Charnock (1960-2012), Director Anita Rochon

Cast: Alison Denham, Bevin Poole, Susan Elliott, Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg, Kim Stevenson

Reviewer Karen Fitzgibbon

The first half of this Program was Made In China. I almost left the theatre during intermission. Three rows from my seat were three people sleeping in the audience including the person beside me. It was difficult to hear many of the lines especially with one actress who talked while her back was to the audience.

This was one of the worst performances I’d ever seen. This was supposed to be an exploration of traditional art forms in today’s multimedia. But the performance was disjointed, and seemed to have no rhyme or reason for its existence.

The only positive note about it was the unique digital effects on a large screen used as a backdrop. I don’t know what some people’s concept of entertainment is but this was not mine and obviously not for some of the sleeping audience members. It was absolutely boring.

I was thrilled, however, by the second performance, Highgate. The theme was unique, funny, and well executed. The black Victorian costumes of death by Alice Mansell were dynamic and well designed.

Friedenberg as Mrs. Graves took us to look at the faces of death. The three mourners mourning in absolute stressful harmony were really funny. Her English accent and her facial expressions as well as the play between her and the mourners were refreshingly novel. Highgate, by the way, is a cemetery in London.

Highgate was terrific and it literally saved my evening. It had wonderful choreography and acting. Good job!


© 2013 Karen Fitzgibbon