Cabaret offers forum for art creativity

There was dancing performances, video presentations and even some rap, at last Friday’s Cabaret organized by the contemporary dance department and the Dance Student Association.

“It’s a forum for creativity and collaboration, and for showing things you don’t get to show at other venues,” said Michael Montamaro, chair of contemporary dance.

It was the second Cabaret of its kind, drawing in some 50 spectators. The first one was held in the fall and featured dance pieces, musical performances, interdisciplinary pieces combining dance, music and video projection.

This time around, there were nine performances, including a humorous video that helped explain why most people always lose their lip balms, creative and original dance performances and a rap sequence that caught up where it had left off last Cabaret.

Montamaro thought that putting together a show in a relaxed and informal atmosphere would encourage students to test out their art. “It provides a place for them to grow and to be seen,” he said.

The Cabaret is open to any students wanting to share their art with a public.

“It’s very open and fun,” said Andria Sproule, a student of contemporary dance that had come to see the show. “It’s open to experimentation. It’s one of the best things that happened at Concordia.”

Though the event is very student-driven, it can sometimes be hard to get students to show their art. “It’s difficult to make students understand this venue with no judgment,” said Montamaro.

“We live in a production oriented world. The final product is judged, not the experience, experimentation and exploration. And those three things drive art.”

Heather Cameron, third year contemporary dance student, took part in one of the dance performances presented at the venue. She said she feels more excited than nervous in the atmosphere the Cabaret provides. “If you screw up, you can laugh about it. The audience is very supportive but also very real,” she added. “You learn what works and what doesn’t work.”

Montamaro hopes to hold one Cabaret per month next school year. Beyond giving students an opportunity to show their work in progress, the venue also forms friendships and collaborations between students from different departments.

“In art, collaboration is really important,” said Montamaro. “The friendships and artistic harmonies created between people at Concordia live past Concordia.”

The next Cabaret will be held on Feb. 20. All are welcome.

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