Final Savage Land
Sore for Punching You
Choreography by Allison Cummings
Jan. 23 to Feb. 2
Oz Studios, Toronto
Cummings is the quintessential angry young artist interested in making social statements – hence the provocative name of her company, Sore for Punching You. Her investigations into human nature are many-layered and deep and, while her multidisciplinary works tend toward the experimental, they are always touched by wry humour. Final Savage Land is an installation/site-specific piece that explores the complexities of survival and co-dependency.
Speaking in Ligeti
Marta Marta Productions
Choreography by Martha Carter
April 18 to 20
Scotiabank Dance Centre, Vancouver
Carter, a contemporary choreographer whose works incorporate ballet, urban dance forms, performance art and multimedia technology, has been known for creating pieces that can best be described as infamous. Thus, the thought of her taking on an icon of classical New Music, namely revered Hungarian composer György Ligeti (1923-2006), invites curiosity. This is a big piece, with six dancers and live music provided by the innovative Microcosmos String Quartet.
Mile Zero Dance
Choreography by Gerry Morita
May 9 to 11
Ortona Armoury, Edmonton
The always inventive Morita has made a specialty of site-specific works. Take Spatial Pull, the chilling piece she created for the 2009 Festival of New Dance in St. John's: After a dozen dancers hurled themselves down the steep staircase beside Newfoundland's Supreme Court Building, they marched in a trance to the edge of the harbour in anticipation of a "mass suicide." In the new Endangered Species, Morita takes on Edmonton's Ortona Armoury, where she will explore the halls of history and memory.
Still Standing You
Choreography by Pieter Ampe and Guilherme Garrido
Jan. 29 to Feb. 2, Scotiabank Dance Centre, Vancouver
Feb. 5 to 9, Arts Court Theatre, Ottawa
April 23 to 27, Enwave Theatre, Toronto
How can one ever forget watching two naked men manipulate each other's penises in a game of one-upmanship? Belgium's Ampe and Portugal's Garrido have created a duet that is the quintessence of testosterone. The brutal, violent choreographic language is as much gymnastics-cum-wrestling as it is dance – a vicious but hilarious game of "gotcha."
Haptic and Holistic Strata
Choreography by Hiroaki Umeda
Jan. 16 to 19, Theatre Junction Grand, Calgary
Jan. 25, Scotiabank Dance Centre, Vancouver
Feb. 26 to March 4, Berkeley Street Theatre, Toronto
Exciting Japanese solo dance artist Umeda is an absolute original – a visionary who designs his own sound, lighting and visuals to striking effect. His ability to make his body seem to convey electric shocks or the ever-changing colour spectrum or colliding atomic particles is uncanny. Umeda's goal is to convey sensations through the fusion of movement and design.
National Ballet of Canada
Choreography by John Neumeier
March 1 to 7
Four Seasons Centre, Toronto
The great Neumeier has built his ballet about legendary dancer Vaslav Nijinsky (1889-1950) as a dream-like, lyrical, impressionist painting. Six men portray the troubled dancer, so a company needs real depth in the ranks. One Nijinsky remembers incidents in his life, while the others, in authentic costumes, perform excerpts from his virtuoso roles. Both thrilling and tragic.