Animals, Optimists and Pornogaphers

Attended Toronto Dance Theatre's Four at the Winch on Friday night. It's kind of embarrassing that I hardly saw any dance performances last year (five, not including our own shows) so I am making an effort this season to see as much as my culture budget will allow me this year. The Winchester Theatre was packed, which is great for TDT. The review in the Globe & Mail, positive. It was an evening program of four works by four different choreographers. The last one, Louis Laberge-Côté's The Carnival of Animals, was the easiest to like. And I did. Set to the music of Camille Saint-Saëns, the piece featured most of TDT's ensemble members and they really looked like they had fun with it. It also could have seemed that way because the work's tone was much lighter, more playful, compared to the second and third pieces of the evening. There was also a smattering of dance-community in-jokes in the narration which I would have completely missed had I seen this a year ago.

One of the things I'll miss when I eventually leave the dance world is the initial reaction I get from everyone who's ever asked me what I did for a living.
"I work for a contemporary dance company."
"Wow. Are you a dancer?"
Well I'm flattered that you'd even think that -- but "No."

I remember someone saying to me once, "I can't watch contemporary dance. I'm not smart enough to get it." You don't have to get it. You either like it or you don't. But to dislike the entire form is silly, since the great thing about contemporary dance is that it's cooler than ballet. Unfortunately, many people/corporations with money, prefer Classical Ballet, because they figure it's the easiest form to understand -- the ongoing challenge of fundraising for contemporary dance.

My second splurge of the season: a subscription for Tarragon Theatre. I caught the matinee for The Optimists yesterday afternoon -- the lone 20-something in a sea of grey/white hair. I rather like matinees. The 2:30 show will allow you plenty of time for a leisurely brunch before, and will still give you time to head to Kensington after, pick up some produce and cook up a vat of chili for yourself. There were a couple of familiar faces in The Optimists. One of the actors, Randy Hughson, had starred in the 2003 Blyth Festival production of The Perilous Pirate's Daughter. The musical told the story of the Legendary Bill Johnson, Canada's Pirate of Lake Ontario who sailed from Niagara to the St. Lawrence, stealing from the rich and helping the poor. A very silly musical -- as silly as musicals get. OK, it was pretty stupid -- which is a shame because it's 100% Canadian and I so want to be supportive. Of course the feisty young Kate falls for some soldier dude. They share a "Somewhere Out There" moment, fake snow and everything. If I hadn't eaten so much ambrosia salad (extra marshmallows) at the church dinner before the show, I wouldn't have felt too sluggish to guffaw.

Tonight, the New Pornographers are playing at the Phoenix. Super excited. I've got all of their albums. I haven't been this excited since the Waltons played at the Danforth Music Hall when I was in Grade 10. I feel like I'm 15 again -- except now I have schmeebs. I wish I'd taken the time to memorize a few
lyrics, so that I could sing my little heart out at the concert tonight. But instead, I ate lots of chili, watched the American version of The Office (not horrible, but not spanktacular either), worked a brunch shift and blogged. Now it is too late -- in fact, I am running late.

Not sure if I can afford to take a three-day weekend. I think I will work. Meh, we'll see how ambitious I'm feeling tomorrow morning.


At 6:52 PM, Blogger Chriswab said...

Hi I´m Chris. Greatings from Germany Bottrop !!


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