Thursday, November 3, 2022


Running at the Fleck Dance Theatre at Harbourfront until November 5th, the 2022 ProArteDanza fall season program is a four tiered powerhouse of nuanced meditative dance, intense athleticism, and lyric engagement that simultaneously brings all four choreographers together in an evening of excellence, and a mixture of flowing and staccato movement that both blends and abruptly divides in visually exciting and provocative ways.

Program notes for all of the choreography suggest ideas reflective of both conflict and harmony. Opening with Lesley Telford's ONLY WHO IS LEFT begins the tour de force with what Telford terms an exploration of "the heroism and beauty of plugging on, the futile sensation of the fight and the acceptance of where we end up." Lyrical bouts of free flowing movement are interspersed with a paradoxical sluggishly empowered agility as almost robotic forms and gestures represent "personal conflicts, protests, and day to day struggles." The use of music by Mozart, Beethoven, and Michael Gordon adds a deep elegance to the overall mood and renders the piece a beautiful meditation on a quote by Bertrand Russell that inspired the piece - 

                        "War does not determine who is right - only who is left."

Syreeta Hector's BEAST A LA MODE delivers, through vibrant costume, and independent and ensemble gestural liveliness-cum-athleticism, a kind of "environmental identity...revealed or concealed depending on different locales and social context." A pleasing comical element arises throughout the piece and attests  to Hector's idea of "the uneasy contradictions of character we develop to survive everyday life and highlights our essential need to compete, depending on circumstance." The diverse range of musical accompaniment, form Mozart to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stevie Wonder, and Cris Derksen offers up a  seamless kind of varied energy throughout.

TETHERED TO YOUR PALMS, by Chantelle Good, furthers this seemingly connected yet individually unique quartet of dance with a breathtaking assembly that "explores the act of preserving memories both within ourselves and with others." The dancers move in and out of intimacies that do precisely this through profoundly personal moments that join, divide, and ultimately conquer the spaces that come between bodies and emotions, both posing and answering  the choreographers question - "How can we hold someone's memory of a shared encounter, even when it is different from our own?" 

Roberto Campanella, founding artistic director of the company, ends the evening with his 2016 FEARFUL SYMMETRIES, giving the overall program a spectacular finale that speaks of both symmetry and divergent imagery, yet always attuned to the idea that the mirror image may at one point diverge and become the inspiration for yet another reiterative formation - simultaneously frightening, fragmentary, solidifying and joyful. Dancers present impeccably formed mirror-like relationships that appear to inspire singular images that electrify and soothe as music by John Adams (Fearful Symmetries) resounds throughout to a powerful conclusion.

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