Dancing on the Edge
Ottawa Dance Directive

Dates and Venue 3 July 2014, 8pm & 5 July 2014, 9pm | Firehall Arts Centre

Dancers Charles Cardin-Bourbeau, Jasmine Inns, Marilou Lépine, Simon Renaud, and Riley Sims

Choreography Yvonne Coutts (Fracture ), Tedd Robinson (Trembleherd Bells), Noam Gagnon (sho me wut u gut)

Reviewer Ed Farolan

I never enjoyed modern dance, except in rare cases. I'm more of a traditionalist, preferring shows that are classical, such as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet shows. Perhaps if I were younger, I'd enjoy these experimental theatre groups that Dancing on the Edge sponsors every year.

The opening of the Festival gave honours to this Ottawa group which presented a mixed evening of work by artistic director Yvonne Coutts, and guest choreographers Noam Gagnon and Tedd Robinson. The first dance "Fractured" was choreographed by Coutts It was supposed to be a duet for two women, but I suppose the title "Fractured" meant that it was to be fractured by the intrusion of a male dancer who does the introduction to the dance eating potato chips as he talked.

This dance was supposed to be comic, but I found it extremely boring, with the dancers pushing each other, shaking and rolling, and then pushing the male dancer away, taking off their clothes just leaving the man's jockey shorts on and the women with their panties and bras. Of course, that's the whole idea of modern dance: to be absurd and silly, but I found the whole 30 minutes utterly boring.

The next dance was by guest choreographer Tedd Robinson--"Trembleherd Bells" . In this dance, you had five dancers acting like zombies or mentally challenged cows ringing cowbells and horrid music in the background. I thought this was going to be some kind of supernatural horror dance which I think it was intended to be as these five dancers were shaking ike zombies terrorized by the sound of cow bells. At any rate, I felt like shaking my head and saying to myself, "What's the point?"

I brought my granddaughter along hoping that this would be a fruitful experience for her as she's taking dance lessons. But to my disappointment, she didn't like the the show. She said she liked the first part a bit because it was funny, but hated the horror movie cow-zombie dance.

We were advised not to come back for the second half of the show because of nudity in the next dance, and that was good because my granddaughter would not have appreciated these dancers in the nude.

© 2014 Ed Farolan