Review: Season 2013 (ProArteDanza)

Season 2013. ProArteDanza

ProArteDanza’s Season 2013 is filled with stunning and exceptionally performed choreography playing at Toronto’s Fleck Dance Theatre

I think I have seen all of ProArteDanza’s Seasons and every year they deliver the goods. This year sitting once again in the Fleck Dance Theatre watching the spectacular dancers that make up Season 2013, ProArteDanza showed that they followed through with their commitment to excellent dance.

The evening consisted of two 2011 works, Shifting Silence and Fractals: a pattern of chaos; and one world premiere, Beethoven’s 9th – 3rd Movement. Choreographers Robert Glumbek, Roberto Campanella, and Guillaume Côté have a contemporary work that highlights all artists balletic backgrounds in Season 2013. Featured in these three dances were some of Toronto’s strongest dancers including Valerie Calam, Justin de Luna, Tyler Gledhill, Mami Hata, Benjamin Landsberg, Ryan Lee, Delphine Leroux, Erin Poole, Anisa Tejpar, and Katherina Nakui.

It is the little things that really stood out for me. The details. Among all the hyper physical movement, a little a small hand flourish or a subtle leg vibration complemented the choreography beautifully. These small details were subtly present in all of the pieces of the evening.

Even though each of the dances had a different feel they all stayed in the ProArteDanza aesthetic and created a well rounded show. Not only were the works connected by choreographic style, they were also linked through the use of rectangles in the lighting, as my show buddy Kallee pointed out. In each piece this contrast with rectangles provided a visual anchor to the show.

This visual structure was emphasized in Beethoven’s 9th-3rd Movement when Campanella and Glumbek brought chairs into the choreography. I am always a bit wary when a choreographer uses chairs in the choreography. I fear the tacky 80’s. Campanella and Glumbek gave good consideration to these props while keeping focus on the dancers. Beethoven’s 9th-3rd Movement found the tenderness in precisely physical dance. In this work the chairs added a solid counterpoint to the luscious movement.

Shifting Silence was kind of like a romantic comedy. You know what’s going to happen, the couple is going to get together. And yet you still watch the movie and are happy when the couple finally hook up. When the audience saw that only two of the 7 dancers were wearing red, we knew what to expect. The opening scene of Shifting Silence was gorgeous, stunning, and sexy. Then, it did not play out as I expected, these two highlighted dancers in red moved around each other avoiding any sort of connection till the very last moment.  It would have been nice to have seen glaringly obvious connection had been played with or at least acknowledged a little bit more, especially after that opening scene.

Before I saw Fractals someone told me that when learning this work the dancers thought the tape was on fast forward. I almost forgot I was watching a live performance, these dancers were moving at nearly impossible speeds with perfect precision.  When Valerie Calam came out and shifted gears it gave the audience a chance to take a breath. Côté has choreographed one amazing piece in Fractals.

By the end of the show there was no question about these performers. Among all the muscle and movement  the dancers found the emotions and the sensitivity in the dances. Weaved into each choreography are moments for each dancer to really show us what they are made of, to be clichéd they each had their moment to shine. ProArteDanza are always steadfast great option to see awesome physicality and performance.


  • Season 2013 is playing until October 5th at  Fleck Dance Theatre (207 Queens Quay W.)
  • Shows runs Wednesday to Saturday at 8pm
  • Ticket prices range from $20 – $39, with discounts for students and seniors
  • Tickets are available online, or through the Harbourfront box office at 416-973-4000

Photograph of Ryan Lee, Tyler Gledhill and Benjamin Landsberg by Geneviève Caron