Friday, October 3, 2014


  photos by Tyler Evan Webb


The current proartedanza tenth anniversary season opener is a stunning display of the company’s work over the past decade. Act I features …in between (2010) - a powerful  collaborative effort from Roberto Campanella and Robert Glumbeck. Winning the 2011 Dora Award for outstanding choreography, the piece utilizes two large, malleable, mattress-like props in a seamless, playful, at times hostile manner that allows dancers to manipulate each other across a stage filled with diverse play and rambunctious, high energy movement.

Filtered through an obvious impulse to load the performance space, and the dancers bodies, with overwhelming precision and rapid movement, in between lays the foundation for a two act spectacle that has one asking that breathtaking question - how did you just do that? Limbs appear to move in simultaneously smooth, soft flowing modes and high pitched elegant flailing. Floating quickly through a variety of gorgeous musical moments, the overall piece is both moving and humourous, evoking laughter and poignant reflection at a moment’s notice.

The program notes refer to the “idea of destabilization, reinvention and resilience [that] are symbolized in a transitory space; a continuum in which the constant is change.” …in between opens with the mattress like objects appearing as monolithic, wall-like structures that are quickly up-ended, tossed about, thrown on top of unsuspecting dancers - ultimately becoming mammoth points of initiation and crisis, marking “a release from one state of being and growth into the next.” 

Robert Glumbeck & Anisa Tejpar

Act II manages, against all odds, to follow Act I with equal abandon, exuberance, and overwhelming energy. The ponderous moments that frequently mark modern dance - any form of choreography for that matter - can allow for beautiful breathing spaces that give the overall narrative room to build varied rhythms. But the nine short pieces that comprise the second half were clearly not chosen for this sense of ebb and flow. They all exceed in their obvious need to seamlessly excite the senses with unerring bravado. Moments of male-on-male twerk-like camaraderie and parodic self-conscious machismo mix with gorgeous solo virtuosic presentations. All of the dancers work together to create a breakneck pacing and uniform precision that highlights the stylistic choices in each separate piece. 

Anisa Tejpar’s solo turn in Robert Glumbeck’s Subsistence is a highlight nearing the finale of a second half that never strays from the evenings overall sense of intense energy, poignancy, and play. Tejpar has the ability to enthrall with 
her impeccable take on bodily precision. Her signature style, in Subsistence, peaks with elegantly manic mannerisms and explosive physical prowess. She is everywhere all at once as her body fully inhabits a huge playing space and a physically challenging piece of gorgeous choreography. 

There are moments when the non-stop action of act II suggests an indirect rebirth/re-invention of slaughter on tenth avenue whereby 21st century cultural and aesthetic phrasing renders gender as a complex disappearing act. Men and women rage about the stage with the freedom and the agility to re-invent themselves as they mix, mingle, and mimic everyday gestures that, in the hands of a brilliant array of dancers and choreographers, become a stunning and overpowering display of proartedanza's decade long commitment to  "passion in performance."  

Marc Cardarelli & Anisa Tejpar


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