Copyright © 2000. All Rights Reserved
by Jeff Goffin
2000 Alberta Dance Explosions
Dancers Studio West
February 10 -12, 17 - 19, 24 - 26
Studio Theatre II
If you thought the explosions were big when they blew up the General Hospital, hang onto your hat. For the next three weekends, Dancers Studio West will present 2000 Alberta Dance Explosions, a showcase of work by dance artists from across the province. The show features work from over 25 choreographers including relative newcomers as well as veterans of the dance scene. Each weekend offers a completely different show of works selected by artistic director Elaine Bowman and a panel of dance luminaries.
Dance Explosions has been an annual event in Calgary for the past 18 years, earning Dancers Studio West a reputation as the premiere venue for new work. Whether you are a longtime hoofer or you cant tell the difference between a ballet and a polka, youll find something exciting at the 2000 Explosions.
To choreographer and performer Marnie Cook, seeing the show is almost as exciting as being onstage.
"This is not a whole evening of one choreographer," she says. "This is an evening of many choreographers and they only have one opportunity. Its only one piece so its very important to them. Theyre trying to make a point and be aggressive and brilliant at the same time. So people are going to be hit with style and impact and ideas. The audience is going to be quite excited and quite exhausted at the same time."
Each evening will feature as many as 10 different works covering a wide spectrum of dance including ballet, modern, jazz, interpretive, experimental jazz, classical Spanish dance, Croatian dance and Indonesian dance. The variety of work is the key to Dance Explosions success, says dancer Danielle McCulloch.
"If you dont like the first piece, you might like the second. Its kind of like Calgary weather."
Experimentation and exploration are very important, with many of the performances mixing different styles of dance. Using the music of Bach, Cook has created a piece that combines modern dance and flamenco. Christine Carr will present a solo entitled "Diamicron" focusing on raw physical athleticism, which she says comes from her training in modern dance and "hyperactivity." Other works such as McCullochs duet with Stephen Thompson are more difficult to describe, deriving their inspiration from her fascination with "extreme motion."
A particularly novel approach is described by Nicole Tritter, who will appear in her own work entitled "Raw."
"The movement was inspired by animals," she explains. "I spend a lot of time at the zoo with my two boys. Were there quite a bit watching the lions and the tigers and all the other animals. I had all these animal images in my head, so I went into the studio and started playing around and got all these movements and then created a dance out of it."
For Carr, this will be her fourth Dance Explosion, but it remains as exciting as her first.
"This is a great opportunity to see new works," she says. "There are big risks being taken. Sometimes youll see an idea that is just so outstanding.
"Its also a great place for emerging artists to get that chance to perform and be amongst professional artists in a community supporting dance."
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