James Gnam. Foto: David Cooper
Simone Orlando. Foto: David Cooper


THE CULTCH: Diasporama

Dates and Venue 14-18 April 2009 @ 8.00pm | The Dance Centre (677 Davie St., Vancouver)

Reviewer Ed Farolan

Pierre-Paul Savoie Danse presented two duets from Diasporama, a cycle of five works created by Quebec and other Canadian choreographers who are living abroad but are still connected by their roots. The assembled works of Diasporama focus on displacement, home heritage and identity.

The first part of the performance was Mi-un ni d’eux (1/2 One Nor Two) by Choreographer Luc Dunberry, who resides in Berlin, performed by Pierre-Paul Savoie and Marc Bolvin. In the programme notes, the piece was described as "the inner dialogue between our rational self and our emotional self, between the cerebral and the instinctive, between learned and innate." This was quite an abstract piece, full of symbolism, but artistically well-delivered.

If I hadn't read the programme notes, the duet gave me the impression of a science fiction, futuristic dance, in slow motion, as though floating in space, by two androids. Even the music had that Space Odyssey sensation as well as the visual images projected on the cyclorama and the sound effects.

After a 15-minute intermission, ...and the air felt like it would burst into flame.by André Gingras, who lives in Amsterdam, was performed by Pierre-Paul Savoie and Lael Stellick. The programme notes described the piece as "inspired by the work of David Wojnarowic and William S. Burroughs whose artistic approach is characterized by...social criticism and...positions in regard to society".

The duet reflected their poetry; there was humour and rebelliousness in the dance. I thought that the performance was more than just dance; it was a fusion of theatre and a Marcel Marceau type of mime. Rage, insanity and violence were the themes of this second part of the show where the actors/dancers laughed, shouted, narrated different "case studies" of rage.

This was quite an interesting show, off-beat, but that's the whole purpose of modern dance--the search for new forms, experimenting here and there. The difference, though, is the artistry. Some modern dance companies don't have the finesse, the discipline that this company has. For example, the pas de deux is a take off from the traditional, the classical, and what the dancers/choreographers have done is giving this "dance for two" a new twist but conserving the beauty and artistry of classic dance.

I hope we have more dance companies following the techniques of Pierre-Paul Savoie Danse.

© 2009 Ed Farolan