Once in a while you come across a person that with every breath adds life to their chosen art form. Rhonda Baker and Kathleen Doherty work to do everything with utmost detail; striving for perfection with each step forward. Thursday they went to see Tentacle Tribe and the Woods presented by Live Art Dance. A refreshing take on seeing a Live Art Show, here are their contributions. Thanks Kathleen and Rhonda!
Hip hop took the stage in Halifax this weekend with Live Art Dance’s presentation of The Woods with Ghettosocks & Tentacle Tribe. A nearly sold out audience gathered to watch the home grown talent (The Woods), and Montreal’s Tentacle Tribe on Thursday night.
The Woods & Ghettosocks’ work entitled “Triptych” brought together various forms of street art. I felt encouraged and warmed to see so many young dancers performing together. I found myself developing a new feeling towards the city, a new energy, a flow as I watched the performance. It was refreshing to see new genres on stage, and to see new audiences members among the crowd. A feeling of community was apparent, hanging freshly in the air. The dancers’ energies were high, met by the flowing words from Ghettosocks & Nilla. Lighting came and went, as did the dancers. The high energy was magnetizing through a coming together of dance, vocal and visual street arts, large and proud.
Suspension, floating, little stops, never stopping, connection point, darkness, love, loops, flow, togetherness…just a few words and/or feelings that came to me while watching Tentacle Tribe’s “Nobody Likes a Pixelated Squid”. I witnessed a true sense of being within the dancers, feeling the movements continuing on, without an apparent start or stop to each one. I wanted to be closer, to try and feel their world, to sense their lives, their dreams. Their world felt never ending, what small glimpse was I viewing? Lines, circles, limbs, creatures, humans, light, life, sound, truth… “Is life a dream?”*.
*Text taken from Elon Hoglund’s programme notes (Choreographer & performer, Nobody Likes a Pixelated Squid”).
This is a story about… Halifax. A city whose solitary dance artists have a laudable adaptability to this ever shifting landscape; weathered and solid like the coastal rocks. Thriving on good hearted and feisty spirits, we keep a collective positivity while trudging on. Certainly, Live Art Dance Productions has contributed to this proud feeling we all have when naming this city as our home.
Paul Caskey has proved to be a major supporter of dance artists and choreographers working in the city of Halifax; presenting established companies like Mocean Dance, Phin Performing Arts, and The Woods, alongside independent artists like myself (presented April 2014) and Lydia Zimmer (presented April 2016). Live Art Dance Productions brings a season of enlightened expression to it’s audience in the hopes of inspiring curiosity, evoking a visceral response, and igniting a flame when our hearts become dark from thinking about the snow that will soon pile up higher than our door frames.
Taking care of an audience is indeed a tricky business that requires making choices, that not only speak to dance aficionados, but also pique the interests of first time dance goers and critical audience members. On the bill this weekend were offerings from Halifax’s own, The Woods in collaboration with Ghettosocks, and power couple, Tentacle Tribe (Montreal).
The former was an elaborate scene for the senses; gothic visuals projected on the vastness of The Dunn wall was echoed in light, form, and lyric. Triptych allowed me to listen to the ephemerality of words that come and go lightly off tongues of laborious work, that drop them heavily into determinate discourse, from a hat they vanish into heads filled with potential for inspiring verses that pay homage to us in our seats, in the world, still addressing our present tense. An inception, a planting of a seed, that we let sink into our bodies as the house lights dim.
The latter (Nobody Likes a Pixelated Squid) was an inspiring display of agility. Due to an injury incurred on tour, the role usually performed by the strikingly lithesome powerhouse that is Emmanuelle Lê Phan was danced this weekend by Melissa Flérangile.
“Sacred geometry” that we are, relating to each other in endless shapes and forms of colliding blueprints and contexts. When I pause to reflect on this idea of growing with someone, do I doubt this contentment I feel? When I yield to another in a moment of intersection, do I fear a loss of myself, or do I gain perspective with this new tentacle?
A generous display of dance that flowed into and out of formality and expression seamlessly, while deconstructing the very seam deemed seamless through a reframing of the form, that nonetheless provided a seamless distraction for a distracted mind.
8PM/Thursday, Friday and Saturday/ 10, 11 & 12 December/2015
$30 General, $25 Seniors, $20 Students