A hotouse of choreographic goodness.

Unsure of what was meant by the term “choreographic hothouse,” I did not know what to expect from the latest show presented by Springboard Dance at the new Vertigo Theatre. As I soon found out, it was a chance to look at “works in progress” that had been mentored by Tedd Robinson, 10 Gates, from Ottawa for two weeks.

The show was interactive, allowing the audience to question and converse with the choreographers on their pieces. Although I thought some of the comments made by certain audience members were irrelevant to the choreographic process, or dance in general, it was a unique experience to discuss dance in a live performance.

The first show was pieces that were still in the beginning states of the choreographic process. Almost all of the pieces had a lot of room to develop their vocabularies and take the dance in a different direction. One standout piece was by Maya Lewandowsky and involved the use of voice and technology. Although the piece could have been edited after the scream, it was interesting to see how her movement had evolved throughout her body.

The second show had more complete pieces and displayed the works of Davida Monk and Nicole Mion. The most interesting piece with multiple layers surrounding it was Monk’s. This dance looked at the use of movement and voice and how the two could be connected. When first introduced to modern dance, you are not usually familiar with the vocabulary the choreographer is using. As was displayed in Monk’s choreography, if dance is successful it will be able to transcend that and you can begin to understand the humour and ideas surrounding the piece.

Feeling oversaturated after watching five dance pieces in a row, I went home with new thoughts about dance and what is involved when creating new works. It is interesting to think of dance as always evolving, even when a piece is “finished” there are many ways to manipulate it and take it in a new direction.

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