Monday, June 26, 2017

Move with FUSE

New dance festival announces its Canada Day lineup.

Posted By on Mon, Jun 26, 2017 at 9:00 AM

FUSE Festival
Sat. July 1, 11am-5pm
Halifax Common

The inaugural FUSE Festival has announced its lineup of dancers set to perform at this year’s event. More than 20 groups are involved, with styles ranging from Highland dance to hip hop. The audience will even get a chance to try some moves.

“The FUSE Festival is designed to bring Nova Scotians of all cultural backgrounds together through a shared cultural dance experience,” FUSE Festival founder Maria Osende says in a press release.

FUSE is happening in conjunction with Halifax’s Canada Day celebrations. It’s free of change, taking place onstage across from the Emera Oval.

Festival Lineup

  • Diversi Team
  •  Laurie Selenzi of Serpentine Studios
  •  Nostos Contemporary Dance
  •  Diaga Irish Dance
  • Queensland Highland Dancers
  • Flamenco artist La Azulita
  • For the Love of Flamenco
  • Irish dancer Zeph Caissie
  • Liliona Quarmyne and The Maritime Centre for African Dance
  •  Sharon Paris’ Youth Dancers
  • Latispanica Cultural Association
  • Free to Move Dance School
  • East Coast Salsa Connection
  • The Mi'kma'ki Dance Troupe and drummers
  • Oriental Motion
  • South India Cultural Association of the Maritimes
  • Nruthiya Saagaram
  • The Arada group
  • The Woods

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Kinetic Studio's open series

Open Studio Series this weekend boasts artistically diverse dance

Posted By on Wed, Mar 15, 2017 at 11:11 AM

Lydia Zimmer in a work choreographed by Rhonda Baker - KEVIN MACCORMACK
  • Lydia Zimmer in a work choreographed by Rhonda Baker
  • Kevin MacCormack

Open Studio Series
March 18-19, 8pm
Pre-Show: Lucy M. May 7pm
Performances by
Rhonda Baker (Halifax)
Sarah Wendt (Montréal/Charlottetown)
Ellen Furey (Montréal)
Susan Wolf (Halifax/Toronto)
Lucy M. May (Montréal)

Kinetic Studio is dancing the night away with the final installation of its Open Studio series. Taking place around the city this month and this weekend at DANSpace on Grafton Street, the weekend performance is a culmination of the 2016/17 edition of the popular and artistically diverse series.

The Halifax-based dance company is bringing multidisciplinary performers from across Eastern Canada here. From animation to cinematography, different art forms unite to create a unique experience across a two-day run, bringing together a total of seven different artists.

From Montréal is Ellen Furey, whose piece Total is the latest in a series of one-time performances that studies “meaning through intuitive body utterances.” Furey works with artists including Daniel Léveillé, Dana Michel, Dancemakers, Fred Gravel, and more.

Also from Montréal is a multidisciplinary duo, Sarah Wendt and Pascal Dufaux, a dancer and media artist, respectively. Their piece, Mixing Ghosts, combines elements of flamenco dance with live video delay. Dufaux is the son of cinematographer Guy Dufaux, and incorporates film and photography into his art, creating art from cameras he calls “vision machines”. Wendt, originally from Charlottetown, has worked as nearby as Sappyfest and as far as Melbourne.

Also performing is Rhonda Baker, who, with Lydia Zimmer, is performing Sun Swallower, a piece which was previewed at the January installment of Open Studio. According to a press release, the piece examines the historic and mythological history of wolves. Baker is the recipient of Kinetic Studio’s Explorations Award, meant to promote artists interdisciplinary talents. Zimmer’s most recent performance was in the February edition of Open Spaces, and her piece Bonne Nuit will take the stage of the Sir James Dunn Theatre in April.

Speaking of wolves, animator/dancer Susan Wolf brings her piece Your Body/My Body, exploring generational memory. Wolf is a graduate from NSCAD University, an animator by trade and sculptor and metalsmith by training. “I’m very new to the dance community—I’m not a professional dancer,” she says, having had training “some 18 years ago,” but turned to dance as a way of expressing herself following a brain injury. “My mobility and my cognitive functioning was temporarily impaired and I wasn’t able to look at screens,” she says. “I really had a deep desire to create something.”

Wolf says she values this series and the opportunities it presents emerging choreographers. “I hope it’s not too neat and tidy,” she says with a laugh. “I think a good scenario is it being rough around the edges.”

In addition to the shows performed at DANSpace in this month’s line-up, this weekend's installment includes a site-specific graveyard walk with dancer Lucy M. May, which will begin at 7pm both nights. Describing herself as a “lady looking for magic stuff laying around,” May will lead audience members on a performance experience surrounded by an audience of the dead, titled In and Out (Richesse) Research. May originally hails from New Brunswick, and was trained at Les Ateliers de danse Moderns de Montréal Inc in Quebec, and Codarts Rotterdamse Dansacademie in The Netherlands.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Mocean's double feature dance show

Posted By on Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 2:47 PM


Mocean Dance Double Bill
Feb. 23-24, 8 p.m.
Alderney Landing, Dartmouth

Mocean Dance is letting audiences take in two of their hit performances in one night for their double bill event: Canvas 5 x 5 and Sable Island.

Choreographer Tedd Robinson drew from both Scottish and Japanese influences to create Canvas 5 x 5. Four dancers use the stage as their blank canvas, as if to create a work of art before the audience’s eyes. A literal canvas is also featured as a prop. In July of last year, Canvas 5 x 5 was the recipient of the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award.

Ahead of the show’s initial performance in 2012, Mocean’s artistic director Sara Coffin said dance never failed to pull on her heartstrings.

Sable Island, which premiered in spring 2015, is a five-dancer piece. At the time, choreographer Serge Bennathan told The Coast it was largely inspired by themes of survival and adaptation—two things required of any person or animal who lives on Nova Scotia’s remote island. The dancers’ physical movements are meant to reflect the forces of nature and "what it is like to be in a storm on the island.”

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Keeping it Short and Sweet at Kinetic Studios

Each piece is only three minutes long.

Posted By on Tue, Nov 15, 2016 at 4:33 PM

A look at last year's Short and Sweet show. - ALANAH CORREIA
  • A look at last year's Short and Sweet show.
  • Alanah Correia

Short and Sweet: 25 Dances that End Quickly
Tuesday, November 22, 8pm
The Seahorse Tavern, 2037 Gottingen Street
$15 in advance, $20 at the door

Jacinte Armstrong says Kinetic Studio is about bringing Halifax artists together through dance.

Armstrong hopes the interdisciplinary approach to her upcoming show–Short and Sweet: 25 Dances that End Quickly–will make dance more accessible to both artists and audiences.

This is the second year for the local show, which was inspired by the Short and Sweet showcases by Montreal-based co-directors Andrew Tay and Sasha Kleinplat.

“They started this series of performances as a way to stimulate people’s ideas and shake up how they were making work,” says Armstrong.

Short and Sweet is slated to kick off Kinetic Studio’s season.

The pieces in the show are all brand-new, created specifically for the performance. They range from straight-forward dances to more experimental approaches.

“There’s a lot of juxtaposition,” says Armstrong. “You might have a dancer doing a series of movements and another person talking or telling a story… The dancing, in some ways, makes sense to what you’re hearing in the story. In other ways, it doesn’t make sense at all.”

In other words, it’s up to the audience to make sense of the aspects of the performance.

Each piece will be just three minutes long. And when they say three minutes, they mean it—if anyone goes overtime, the lights are off and the sound is out.

“The challenge is paring it down to what you’re gonna do with your three minutes,” says Armstrong. “You can’t do everything you wanted, but maybe you can do something more deeply.”

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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Music made palpable in Live Art’s latest

Speaking in Ligeti "a fascinating demonstration of the relationship between music and movement"

Posted By on Sat, May 30, 2015 at 4:00 AM

Dancer Heather Laura Gray and musician Tawnya Popoff from Speaking in Ligeti - EMILY COOPER
  • Dancer Heather Laura Gray and musician Tawnya Popoff from Speaking in Ligeti
  • Emily Cooper

The tangibility of music, and its uncanny power to move us, was made manifest last night in Speaking in Ligeti, a production by choreographer Martha Carter, presented by Live Art Dance as part of the Scotia Festival of Music.

Set to the music of Hungarian composer György Ligeti, the work brought the musicians of Microcosmos String Quartet onstage to become part of the choreography, along with talented dancers Hayden Fong, Delphine Leroux, Nicholas Lydiate and Thoenn Glover. The result was a fascinating demonstration of the relationship between music and movement.

The music took on its own physicality in this piece, filling the space between musician and dancer with a palpable force, as though the strings of Microcosmos’ instruments were extended and tied to the dancers’ limbs. This was taken to the extreme sometimes, with musicians playing tyrants to the dancers, pulling them this way and that, with the dancers left to marvel at the seemingly supernatural power of these wizards’ instruments.

The dancers were impressively nimble, and, despite the unnerving and eerie quality of Ligeti’s music, had the audience laughing at times, and always enthralled.

The only misstep in this almost flawless production was its use of audiovisual elements. Video and recorded sounds were hesitantly deployed here and there, and their purpose was not immediately apparent. The work is so strong and so cohesive without them that they serve only to clutter things up.

Speaking in Ligeti was performed to a packed Sir James Dunn Theatre last night, and it repeats tonight at 7pm. The Scotia Festival of Music runs until June 7.

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Vol 28, No 1
July 9, 2020

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