Review: ProArteDanza’s Season 2012

Get acquainted with contemporary dance with ProArteDanza’s new season in Toronto

For Season 2012 ProArteDanza offered a program of three remounted works and one world premiere. The evening was presented at the Fleck Dance Theatre and featured choreography by Artistic Director Roberto Campanella, Artistic Associate Robert Glumbek, as well as Kevin O’Day.

The four pieces presented were eclectic in theme and intention, but they all fit the esthetic identifiable as ProArteDanza: dramatic, physically demanding works, set to passionate music and performed by technically outstanding performers. Regardless of if the style of work ProArteDanza presents is your favourite, their ensemble is unquestionably always filled with some of the most wonderful dancers this city has to offer. You cannot help but be impressed with their physical abilities.

The first work, Decorum, by Campanella, is a duet which shines light on the intimate interactions of a couple. The work, originally created for Ballet Jorgen, has a very melodramatic tone, coupled with quite classical movement. Definitely the most balletic piece presented as part of the evening.

The second piece, Expire, is a new work by Campanella and Glumbek. The work explores the relationship between breath and the factors that may cause us to find ourselves without it. There was an overload of stunning imagery within this work. Many sections involved large pieces of multicoloured cloth which the dancers interacted with in a variety of fashions. Some comedic moments were also present including a section where the dancers awkwardly hopped together through the space while providing verbal commentary to their actions.

What was challenging about this new work was the transitions between sections. There were many blackouts which made the piece feel disjointed. It was like watching the beginning of ten great pieces, but never being allowed to see the end. My guest mentioned that though the movement was beautiful, she never felt she had time to adjust to the new mood after each blackout. Thematically the sections were related, but the development from moment to moment was hard to follow.

It was the second half of the program that I found personally the most engaging. We will… by O’Day features stunning performances by Glumbek and Mami Hata. Their relationship had a genuine quality to it, which left me breathless. I actually caught myself exhaling as the lights went out. The interplay between the performers, the music and the audience was quite spectacular.

The final offering, Beethoven’s 9th – 1st Movement, is a piece I have seen performed before and, yet again, made for a strong final statement. Campanella and Glumbek’s choreography reflects and interacts with the music in ways that is always quite powerful for the audience.

Overall, ProArteDanza’s Season 2012 made for an enjoyable night out. Though their style of work is not my personal favorite, I always enjoy their shows. They present impassioned, athletically impressive works. For audiences that are not very familiar with dance or who are more accustomed to classical dance shows, ProArteDanza Season 2012 is a good transition into the world of contemporary dance.


– ProArteDanza Season 2012 is playing at the Fleck Dance Theatre (207 Queens Quay W) till October 6, 2012.

– The remaining performance run Oct 5 & 6 at 8pm.

– Tickets are $22 to $39 for adults and $20 to $34 for students, seniors and CADA members.

– Tickets are available online or by calling 416-973-4000


photo of Kristen Dennis and Johanna Bergfelt in Expire.