The Dance Centre
Ne.Sans Opera and Dance/Idan Cohen

When and Where Tues, March 1, 2022 at 12pm | Scotiabank Dance Centre

Choreographer Idan Cohen Dancers Will Jessup, Ted Littlemore, Benjamin Deffaria Pianist Leslie Dala

Reviewer Nancie Ottem

The Discover Dance Series presented by The Dance Centre brings the opportunity for choreographers and dance companies in the lower mainland to showcase their craft and present their latest creations to the public. On March 1stthe Ne. Sans Opera and Dance Company offered a program backstopped by the music of Philip Glass, J.S. Bach and Handel.

Four pieces were performed over the one hour program that was infused with a sensibility that harkens back to the time of Bach and Handel’s births in 1685. The sombre, halting, tempo changing sound of Philip Glass’s Etude Number 4 played by pianist, Leslie Dalawas danced by Will Jessup in a study of gymnastic and balletic movement.

The third piece also to the sounds of Philip Glass with pianist, Leslie Dala playing Etude Number 2 was danced by Benjamin Deffaria and Will Jessup. Their pas de deux reflected the haunting, rhythmic, reflective sound of the music. The third piece featuring the music of Bach’s Cello Suite No 4 in E-Flat Major and the 4th piece featuring Handel’s Pena tiranna (Amadigi di Gaula) were danced by Ted Littlemore. Ted Littlemore’s costuming in both of these pieces brought the theatrical drama of opera and a seventeenth century ethos to the program.

The overall mood of the program was somber with choreography by artistic director, Idan Cohenthat had the dancers reaching and extending their movements in a seeming search for acceptance, love, understanding? Perhaps a translation of Pena tiranna will offer a clue. “Woe unrelenting rules over my heart, and I have no more hope of finding peace; Love leaves me breathless, and in such troubles my sorrow knows no clemency.”

© 2022 Nancie Ottem