xDiscover Dance! Series
Modus Operandi

Dates and Venue Thursday February 18, 2016 at 12 noon | Scotiabank Dance Centre, 677 Davie St

Reviewer Ed Farolan

The Scotia Dance Theatre venue was jam-packed mostly from Elementary school students on their field trip. They were enthused by the 28 dancers who did two pieces of contemporary dance.

The first 20 minutes saw all 28 dancers dressed in black doing duets. The background music resembled sounds from a sci-fi movie, something "new age" with percussive disturbing sounds. The second half was a melange of dialogue and music from all periods, including an Edith Piaf rendition of "Non, je ne regrette rien". The dialogue part was funny and the audience laughed, especially the one about a couple who split up but the boy had a tattoo of a landscape drawn by the girl.

There were a few minutes after the show for a Q&A session. A child, perhaps not more than six, saod she wanted to be a dancer like them. Another asked what the hardest part of the dance numbers was, and one of the dancers answered, "working in unison".

I enjoyed the noon show; it's meant to be educational, and I've reviewed them before and gave them a high rating. It's interesting to see the mixture of martial arts and ballet as the dancers did jiu-jitsu movements but in graceful, flowing movements.

The dancers are post-secondary students and I asked one of the dancers after the show how much she pays for tuition and she said $500 a month. Her parents pay part of it, she said, and the rest she pays from part-time jobs.

Modus Operandi is an education initiative of Out/Inner/Space Dance Theatre under artistic directors David Raymond and Tiffany Tregarthen. It bridges young emerging dance artists to the contemporary dance community, offering guidance and development of their individual dance practice. It's in its ninth season, and the end goal is to train and produce contemporary dancers, who will go on to work professionally with companies across Canada.

© 2016 Ed Farolan