Dancing on the Edge
Festival Of Contemporary Dance 2009
Edge Two

Dates and Venue 14 & 15 July 2009, 9pm | Firehall Arts Centre

Choreography Lisa Hostman, Meredith Kalama, Serge Bennathan, Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg Performers Vanessa Goodman, Amy Tao, Meredith Kalaman, Amanda Sheather, Jane Osborne, Leigha Wald and Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg

Reviewer John Jane

Edge Two offers a sampling of four artistically diverse vignettes that features interpretative dance by some of Canada’s best choreographers and a highly talented group of seven female dancers.

The first is Lisa Hostman’s ‘Winterfall’ for two women in a kinaesthetic metaphor for a relationship odyssey. Hostman characterizes Sigur Ros’ experimental and ambient music to great effect in using the language of movement to present this social dance form that is both evocative and engaging. Torontonian Vanessa Goodman, who partnered Hostman in the original production a couple of years ago as part of the International Dance Festival, this time joins Amy Tao, a graduate of Goh Ballet Academy. The two women, who are almost the same physical size work off each other’s controlled and precise movements; sometimes in apparent embrace, other times in moments of illusory conflict.

Next, is Meredith Kalaman’s audacious and rather oddly titled work, ‘This One's for You, Dad.’ Kalaman and her partner Amanda Sheather portray Keith and Ed, complete with prosthetic buttocks, as they bare not only their backsides, but also their rock n’ roll souls to the rock anthem, ”Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Vanessa Goodman returns to the floor for the fourth time at the Firehall in just over 24 hours showing no sign of fatigue. She joins British born Jane Osborne, and Yukon raised Leigha Wald as The Contingency Plan to perform the premier of Serge Bennathan’s SLAM2.

Bertrand Chénier’s aggressive industrial soundtrack seems entirely appropriate for this imaginative, non-linear work. The three women execute the physically demanding dance vocabulary with incredible athletism.

Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg’s interpretative style is as interesting and unconventional as her name. In Goggles, a work-in-progress – or more specifically – a work-in-preparation, we see her trademark fusion of modern dance and clowning. In one of two segments to feature dialogue as part of the performance, Ms Friedenberg brings an individual aesthetic to husband Marc Stewart’s compelling original music. Dressed totally in yellow and wearing swim goggles, she constantly changes the direction of her performance from comically poignant to intensely expressive.

This kind of choreography is rarely seen on modern dance stages. When Friedenberg brings this new show to the Firehall in the Fall, her eclectic style and penchant for zany androgynous comedy will surely appeal to a broad demographic.

© 2009 John Jane