Photo: Sjoerd Derine


The Dance Centre
Arno Schuitemaker: If You Could See Me Now

When & Where Thurs –Sat , March 14-16, 2024 at 8pm | Scotiabank Dance Centre, 677 Davie St, Vancouver

Conception Arno Schuitemaker Dramaturgy Guy Cools Music composition Wim Selles Lighting design Vinny Jones

Performers Mark Christoph Klee, Ivan Ugrin & Stein Fluijt

Reviewer Shakeela Begum

Stepping into the performance space, I was immediately swathed by an ambiance reminiscent of a club, with Klee, Ugrin, and Fluijiy already in a trance-like state, moving to the steady, pulsating beat of Wim Selles' music. The setting, crafted through the creativity of Guy Cools' dramaturgy and Vinny Jones' lighting design, transformed the modest space into a realm of intriguing shadows and rhythm over the 55 minute performance.

The dynamism of the dancers was incredibly inspiring. Their movements, fluid as water yet sometimes mechanical and abrupt, was mesmerizing. This fascinating dichotomy of flow and sudden change showcased not only their physical endurance but also the emotional depth they brought to their performance.

However, the strobe lighting, while contributing to the overall hypnotic effect, occasionally felt somewhat excessive, momentarily drawing attention away from the dancers' prowess and the narrative unfolding through their movement. Nevertheless, the lighting played a significant role in the performance, its innovative use casting dynamic shadows that crafted a silent, yet compelling story alongside the dancers.

The beat of the music became a heartbeat for the show, driving the dancers as they each expressed themselves in remarkably unique ways before seamlessly coming together, yet remaining themselves. This interplay between individuality and unity, underscored by the beat, was a highlight, showcasing Schuitemaker's inventive fusion of dance, performance, and visual art into a captivating experience that felt both intimate and communal.

This narrative, woven through the interplay of light and shadow and propelled by the dancers' unwavering energy, offered a mesmerizing spectacle. It testified to Schuitemaker's ability in blending diverse artistic elements, creating a deeply engaging journey through a landscape where every movement, beat, and shadow told its own profound story. The performance left me contemplating the intricate connections between us, the art we experience through movement, light and the spaces we inhabit.

© 2024 Shakeela Begum