DANCING ON THE EDGE is a contemporary dance festival held in Vancouver. It provides vital cross-pollination between local performers and internationally renowned dance artists. Through platforms such as this, artistic boundaries are expanded for all of us, ever widening the creative field. The festival opened last night with Edge 1; three diverse works which wooed, challenged and captivated its audience.

Joshua Beamish cred J Alex Brinson

Valentijn Dhaenens explained to the audience in the opening night talk-back of BigMouth that he wanted to provide an unfiltered experience, full and unapologetic, leaving his audience free to think what they please. I must admit, going into the performance at the York Theatre earlier that evening, I was expecting something of a dramatized lecture, speeches interspersed and contextualized by commentary.

Valentijn Dhaenens, photo credit: Maya Wilsens

Hofesh Shechter Company returned to Dance House, Vancouver, last night with Barbarians, a thrilling, gripping piece in three parts. I first saw the company perform in my native UK several years ago and I was equally enthralled by the experience this time. This is a dynamic, expressive performance, brimming with energy.

tHE bAD – Hofesh Shechter Company

Ballet BC turned 30 this year, one year younger than I am. Attending the first performance of their thirtieth year on the last day of mine felt perversely symmetrical. I can only wish that I had grown as sophisticated, thought provoking and heartfelt with age. 

Twenty Eight Thousand Waves / Choreography / Cayetano Soto Dancers / Gilbert Small, Scott Fowler & Alexis Fletcher
The Damage is Done is a multimedia conversation about trauma, blame and liberation. The run of the production, directed by Ken Cameron and featuring Rita Bozo and Gabor Maté, was sold out before curtain on opening night so I hope you already have your tickets!
Video still by Patrick McLaughlin

Kicking off the Firehall's 2015-16 season is Love Bomb, an original premiere production by shameless hussy productions. Directed by Renee Iaci, this performance aims to meet the company's mandate of "telling provocative stories about women to inspire the hand that rocks the cradle to rock the world." It tells the story of a mysterious connection between a young rocker named Justine and her much older, self-proclaimed superfan Jillian. 

I have a lot of sympathy for the first show of the first day, especially since there are only 3 hours of technical rehearsal for fringe artists, but the performers of Spookeasy on September 10th did not make it easy. Starting a show expecting applause will get you off on the wrong foot with me every time. As will breaking character to apologize/complain about your own show multiple times, insulting the audience and hideously missing your light (as in leaning OUT of the spotlight).

Kitimat – Mostly Exposition

I love staged readings, they're pure. Just the words and the actors and the audience. No distractions or fancy staging, no pomp and circumstance. Staged readings really let you see a play bare, stripped of all pretension.