All posts by Mark Mann

Review: Me So You So Me (Out Innerspace Dance Theatre)

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“Hallucinogenic” dance piece lights up the Harbourfront Centre stage in Toronto from April 15-18.

Someone I know was born this past weekend, and I’m told that when she was pulled from her mother’s body, the lights in the operating room were all shining very, very brightly. That’s what the world is like: when it isn’t dark, it blazes terribly.

That’s also what the opening of Me So You So Me, a beautiful piece of dance theatre by Vancouver’s Out Innerspace company, is like. Though technically a 60-minute duet, the dynamic between the two dancers is interrupted from the outset by a lively third element—the light.

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Review: Ce n’est pas la fin du monde (Sylvain Émard/Harbourfront Centre/NextSteps)

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Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre presents Sylvain Émard’s Ce n’est pas la fin du monde as part of its dance program

The world feels strange. The air seems thick with unknowns: frequencies we can’t see, invisible clouds of data, other people’s secrets. Everything is changing so quickly, and there are so many questions that we hardly know how to ask. Is there something we’re supposed to be doing? Some insight we’re missing, or some revelation waiting to happen?

Montreal choreographer Sylvain Émard‘s Ce n’est pas la fin du monde (It’s not the end of the world), performed one night only at the Fleck Dance Theatre on February 28 as part of the Harbourfront Centre’s NextSteps program, brings audiences face-to-face with the uncertainty of our anxious zeitgeist. It may not be the end of the world, but it’s not the most comfortable place either.

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Review: Vincent Mantsoe (Danceworks)

Vincent Mantsoe

Dance virtuoso Vincent Mantsoe wows Toronto audiences at the Harbourfront Centre

The word “virtuoso” is one that has understandably lost its impact. Like all superlatives, it’s easy to toss around, and if it ever made readers perk up, it doesn’t anymore.

But when Danceworks curator Mimi Beck writes that Vincent Mantsoe — performing his two-part show NTU and Skwatta at Harbourfront Centre Theatre until January 31 — is a dancer of “breathtaking virtuosity,” she’s just stating the facts. He’s incredible.

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Review: I’ll Crane for You (Christopher House/Toronto Dance Theatre)


Toronto Dance Theatre’s Christopher House performs I’ll Crane for You, a piece created with Deborah Hay

Back in the early nineties, a famous American choreographer named Deborah Hay developed a revolutionary new process for creating solo dance performances. In her technique, she coaches dancers to shed all their habits and cherished ideas, and instead to move perpetually and fearlessly into the unknown. The dance that results is an unfiltered and uninterpreted flow of personal discovery.

This weekend, the celebrated Toronto choreographer Christopher House, Artistic Director of Toronto Dance Theatre since 1994, performs I’ll Crane for You, one of three works that he’s created in collaboration with Hay since he began studying with her almost a decade ago. The performances run until Sunday at the Winchester Street Theatre.

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Review: A Christmas Carol (Soulpepper)

Soulpepper, A Christmas Carol

Soulpepper’s Christmas Carol is “An Outright Pleasure from Start to Finish”

If “humbug” were a word that people still used, it would come in handy right about now. One doesn’t have to be a miserable soul to feel irritated by Christmas, or at least, skeptical of some of its gifts: the manic shopping, the bad music, the cheap sentiments.

But there’s no denying that some of the traditions are beautiful and satisfying, not least of them the annual viewing of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Soulpepper has brought back their adaptation by Michael Shamata, and even for the Scroogiest among us, it’s an outright pleasure from start to finish.

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