Prairie Dance Circuit

Tonight I attended the Fluid Festival‘s Prairie Dance Circuit!  It was definitely an interesting show, much different than the events I am used to attending.  As a visual artist, most of my “culture” comes from attending art openings, museums and galleries, and, once in a while, the theatre.  I must admit that this was my first actual dance show, although I get the feeling that the genre might be more experimental than I thought. Or possibly this show is more experimental than the genre.

Or, maybe I just had an outdated idea of what dance is.  I’m not sure what I was expecting exactly, but the Prairie Dance Circuit wasn’t really it.  It wasn’t at all stuffy, or boring, or girls in tutus.  Actually, clothing was an interesting common thread running through the line-up: from the amazingly furry high heels of Robin Poitras’ soft foot, to the enigmatic hoodie of Nicole Mion’s dancer in Quiver, to Brian Webb’s onstage “wardrobe changes,” to Davida Monk’s Under Cover of Darkness, where the focus of the dance is the dancer’s relationship with her clothing.

My favorite, though, of the 5 performances, did not share this clothing thread as strongly.  Brent Lott’s The Occasion of Our Passing was an enchanting duet between a male and a female dancer.  The performance seemed to illustrate a perhaps unspoken dialog between two people as they grow older… through the excitements of love, life and growing up/ growing old, highlighting their independent struggles and epiphanies, and their changing relationship with one another.  There were some particularly impressive moments where the positions of the performers were dependent on each other, using the tension between them and even their limbs to support each other.

The show was really more diverse than I was expecting- an interesting cross between dance, music, theatre, and even art.  It was an unusual experience for me, and I’m glad I went, and will likely go to more dance events in the future.  (Actually, tomorrow, I will be going to see the Alberta Dance Showcase! Stay tuned!)


This is a guest post I wrote for the Fluid Festival’s blog…. see it here!

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