Tangente was packed last week for the latest creation from Mia Maure, Que faire avec ce corps? – Essais cliniques – Expos&eacue; corporel op. #2. It was a bit of a Concordia love fest with contemporary dance teachers Jacques Brochu and Marie-St&eacue;phane Ledoux as choreographers and two dancers that emerged from the department, Hannah Dorozio and Lael Stellick.
To first get one of my pet peeves out of the way, Que faire avec ce corps? opens with a projection of a human face made kaleidoscopic through the magic of video. Throughout the show, we see similar projections of mirror images creating perfectly symmetrical faces or seemingly ripping a body wide open.
Which leads me to my point: choreographers of the world, I beg of you, please stop using video until you have actually figured the medium out. Taking a boring image and playing with it like you have just discovered digital editing does not make the image magically more interesting.
Now that we have gotten this out of the way, let us focus on the strong point of the show: the choreography. Brochu and Ledoux decided to focus their study of the body around the idea of retention. While much dance attempts to explore the body by providing it with as much freedom as possible, here new movement is sought through constraint.
This gives Que faire avec ce corps? some great moments of tension. For example, there are moments when a dancer moves another dancer across the floor by walking over him and dragging him with his foot. Or another dancer awkwardly crosses her legs underneath her body to alter her movement as she moves across the stage.
The question becomes can subjecting the body to repression allow us to discover new movement? This leads the performers to defy gravity by having one dancer wrap himself like an anchor around the legs of another, who then proceeds to lean to the side beyond the point where she would usually fall down.
For all these reasons, Que faire avec ce corps? possesses enough strong choreographic elements to compensate for its minor deficiencies, including when it comes across as an unfinished work that sometimes has more in common with an academic essay than with a fully-fledged artwork. Finally, Lael Stellick’s performance should not go unmentioned as it gives the show much of its strength.
PREVIEW: This week, Tangente continues its fascinating Split Stage series where they divide their already intimate room into two smaller spaces, imposing a close proximity between performers and audience. Again, many graduates from the Concordia dance department will be in the spotlight, including Katie Ward, Alli Blakley, Benjamin Read, Peter Trosztmer, Andrew Tay and Sasha Kleinplatz.
The event takes place from Thursday, April 5 to Sunday, April 8. Student tickets are $13 and can be purchased by calling 514.525.1500.
Also, do not miss the chance to see the invigorating Demain by Paula de Vasconcelos at Usine C, which goes on from Thursday, April 5 to Saturday, April 7. Student tickets are $20,75 and can be purchased by calling 514.521.4493.