Firehall Arts Centre
things near and far

Dates and Venue 3 - 6 December 2014, 8pm | Firehall Arts Centre

Choreographers Josh Martin, Tedd Robinson Dancers Anne Cooper, Ziyian Kwan & Ron Stewart Lighting Design James Proudfoot

Reviewer Nancie Ottem

A program of innovative, provocative dance opened at the Firehall Theatre tonight. Things near and far is a must see for those who appreciate and look for creative interpretation of the expression of emotion and ideas through dance.

Both pieces offered in this program are entitled Dwelling. The first choreographed by Josh Martin, brings three dancers onto a soundless stage. Anne Cooper, Ziyian Kwan and Ron Stewart interact with each other in a tentative questioning style. The audience is engaged in the thought process of the creative musings of the dancers as they work through the ideal of the dance. They speak in an attempt to understand their task. Music enters into the equation, filling their movements with rhythm and heightening the interaction of the dancers. They work in tandem with the pulse of the drum beat until the music changes and the dancers are trapped between two horizontal lines of light. They struggle independently within the defined space of the bars of light until they are able to break free and enter into another realm of expression. This piece has a hypnotic effect on the audience. The pared down staging accents the synchronized movement of the dancers. We are drawn to the movement alone. That is the beauty of this piece. Music composed by Stefan Smulovitz and costumes designed by Diane Park

The second offering of the evening, also entitled Dwelling, was choreographed by Tedd Robinson. Ziyian Kwan, Ron Stewart and Anne Cooper are clothed in corset dominated constructions. These costumes dominate the movement, they rustle, they do not bend, they deconstruct gender. They are the focal point of the piece. It is costuming that forces the audience to ask questions and search for the meaning in Robinson’s Dwelling. Construction and dance, at first, seem to be concepts at odds with each other. But as the piece came to a close the audience was left reflecting on its meaning. Tedd Robinson’s piece represents a physical construct of an idea. The choreographer plays with the concept of building a piece by having his dancers physically engage in construction. We are left with the dancers inside their construction. They are looking at us, wondering and we are looking back at them. Art should make us ask questions and this piece does. Music was composed by Charles Quevillon and the costumes were designed by Tedd Robinson and the dancers.

© 2014 Nancie Ottem