May 2007

Amjadperformed by La La La Human Steps
choreographed by Édouard Lock
May 15, 2007 Hummingbird Centre Toronto
Like & Dislike
by David Fujino

Acrobatic speed — strength — dancers diving across the stage. We thought we'd see this from La La La Human Steps.

O.K. We didn't.

What we saw was, Amjad — a dramatic dance en pointe; it looked like classical ballet, with many of its individual movements sped up. It was well done.

But Amjad was also choreographer Édouard Lock's highly personal and respectful view of the Romantic ballets, Swan Lake, and Sleeping Beauty.

And Gavin Byars' fine score was a true re-composition of Tchaikovsky's original melodies which the four onstage musicians — pianist, cellist, violist, and violinist — interpreted with sheer passion.

Amjad was also romantic and sexy. The men and women were dressed in black; their dance a series of impressive quick-cuts of fluttering arm and swift leg movements; all with a controlled torso.

And when the white spotlights shifted position on the black stage, the dance and the dancers moved on.

But over time, this free patterning of Amjad was difficult to follow ... it was hard to see a structure, and the piece started to feel too long ...

Here was a case of liking and (yet) disliking a performance piece.

Xuan Cheng & Keir Knight
The dancers
Xuan Cheng | Andrea Boardman | Zofia Tujaka
Talia Evutshenko | Mistaya Hemingway | Bernard Martin
Keir Knight | Jason Shipley-Holmes | Dominic Santia

The musicians
Njo Kong Kie — piano & director
Élisabeth Giroux — cello
Jill Van Gee — violin
Jennifer Thiessen — violin

We welcome your comments and feedback
David Fujino
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