PuSh International Performing Arts Festival and The Dance Centre

Cedric Andrieux

Dates and Venue 18 – 20 January 2013, 8pm | Scotiabank Dance Centre

Choreography Jerome Bel Performer Cedric Andrieux

Reviewer Nancie Ottem

Cedric Andrieux came out onto the stage at the Scotiabank Dance Centre on Friday night as if he were about to take a dance class. He put down his kit bag and his large bottle of water.

He went to his mark on the stage and assumed the first position in ballet; feet together with toes angled outwards, arms down. He looked out at the audience, for what seemed a very long time, and then he began to speak.

He spoke of his early years as a young child. He spoke in a slow, deliberate, even tempo, as if a metronome was pacing his story. Cedric Andrieux wove his life of dance through this piece so masterfully that at its conclusion, his life and the piece, were inextricably intertwined. It was a very moving experience.

The PuSh – international performing arts festival and The Dance Centre brought Cedric Andrieux to Vancouver. The PuSh “presents ground breaking work in the live performing arts.” It aims to expand the horizons of artists and audiences. This year from 15 January until 3 February, PuSh will showcase international, Canadian and local artists with an aim to stimulate and enrich our cultural community.

In staging the piece as a studio, the audience was taken inside the confines of the dancer’s training ground. We followed the dancer on his personal journey toward the perfection in movement that both dancer and choreographer strive for.

The piece strips dance to the central core and bares the struggle of the dancer. We saw the humility, joy, humiliation, endurance, vulnerability and pain that encompass the journey of a dancer. Andrieux’s self-dialogue highlighted the solo nature of a dancer’s work as he uses his own unique qualities to perfect his craft.

Jerome Bel and Cedric Andrieux push the envelope of contemporary dance with this piece. The audience was challenged and taken out of its normal comfort zone. At the end we were being viewed by a smiling Andrieux who forced us to engage ourselves from a different perspective. It was a powerful and very moving experience.

© 2013 Nancie Ottem