February 2007

The Four Horsemen Project
Conceived and directed by Kate Alton and Ross Manson

Starring: Jennifer Dahl, Graham McKelvie, Naoko Murakoshi and Andrea Nann.

February 21 – March 4, 2007 • Factory Theatre • Toronto
"What is a pome? It's inside of your body, body, body, body. What is a pome? It's inside of your head, it's inside of your head." (from "Pome Poem" by bpNichol)
Report by David Fujino
It was like being a kid again.

Dancer Naoko Murakoshi spun faster and faster around the stage on the shoulders of Graham McKelvie and then she squealed — and let it all out.

Naoko was the first dancer to reach an inspired peak in the wacky and smart, multimedia dance tribute, The Four Horsemen Project that's playing at Factory Theatre.

The Four Horsemen — Rafael Barreto-Rivera, Paul Dutton, Steve McCaffery and bpNichol — were four Toronto-based advanced poets who began their pioneering work in the 1960's.

They asserted that poetry was more than words on paper. Poetry was also sound, a person's very breath, and the human body.

But The Four Horsemen Project is not a mimetic, stage biography.

It's kinetic.

And it makes the most of the dancing-singing-acting capabilities of these four exciting dancers.

L-R: Jennifer Dahl Graham McKelvie, Andrea Nann
and Naoko Murakoshi in front
When Naoko Murakoshi stomped on a word, it bounced right onto the stage screen. She proceeded to chant and move to the word sounds of "Drum Anda Wheel". The entire stage and screen crawled with the words Drum Anda Wheel. Amidst all these words, Murakoshi, with a big H on her yellow t-shirt, danced into a state of abandonment.

It was great fun to cheer on Jennifer Dahl who danced and sang "Pome" with full-on physicality and a strong finish; and then get bowled over by Andrea Nann's equally creative, high-stepping interpretation of the same words. In "Score for Tony: First Movement", the fourth dancer Graham McKelvie brought us to the same place with his outstretched arms. His performance of the text and his entertaining body language were in perfect synch.

(The canonical poems, "Drum Anda Wheel", "love evol", and "Pome Poem" made several repeat appearances and served as structural markers in this fluid production of film clips, videos, dance, animation, acting, and voice.)

At 9:07 pm, words and amplified sounds were pouring all over the dancers and the stage. The dancers cried out and danced in different rhythms. It was like free jazz — and just like The Four Horsemen.

It was all about letting go.

We welcome your comments and feedback
• • • • • •
David Fujino
• •
The Live Music Report

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