Tonight will be the opening night for Peggy Baker Dance Projects' sound and feel of it, an evening of audio and physical contrasts by dancer and choreographer Peggy Baker. Running Friday, January 20 -- Sunday, January 29 at the Betty Oliphant Theatre, this multi-dimensional, contemporary Canadian dance performance features three pieces choreographed by Peggy Baker: a remount, a re-imagining and the world premiere of a major new work in celebration of the centenary of John Cage's birth.
About the show: "the sound and feel of it is a showcase of master artists, and a collaboration that transcends generation and discipline. Unique in its field, this presentation is as much about music as dance: Peggy Baker Dance Projects creates a dancer's world for the audience to experience - through music, movement and stunning visuals - by embracing the sound and feel of it."
At the heart of the sound and feel of it is the world premiere of a new piece, Piano/Quartet, a celebration of legendary composer John Cage on the occasion of the centenary of his birth. Baker sets dancers Ric Brown, Sean Ling, Sahara Morimoto and Andrea Nann in motion, translating - as choreography - a series of beautiful and complex poems by John Cage, based on quotations by the painter Jasper Johns.
Says Baker, "More than any other writing I've ever seen, this writing by Cage feels to me like choreography - the way that a single idea gets pulled apart and constantly re-configured so that the meaning comes out over a much more extended period of time. They take you to images and ideas that are beyond the explicit language being used."
About the show: "A man writes poems composed of another man's words. A choreographer uses the poems as the score for a dance. The dance is performed to the music of the poet. We do not hear the poems, we see them danced. What we do hear is selections from Cage's Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano played by the stellar Toronto-based composer and pianist John Kameel Farah. Farah received the 2011 K.M. Hunter Artist Award for music. His recently released CD "Pieces of the Earth" is a collaboration with pianist Attila Fias of music for two pianos, and his next album "Between Carthage and Rome" will be released in mid-2012."
Also on the bill are (as described by Peggy Baker Dance Projects):
In the Fire of Conflict, which first appeared at the 2008 Toronto Summer Music Festival danced by choreographer Peggy Baker, and is now reinvented as a startling, virtuosic vehicle for the fearless dancer Benjamin Kamino. His body is thrown into action by Christos Hatzis' powerful score, the driving performance of percussionist and marimba virtuoso Beverley Johnston, and the raw, blunted text we hear delivered by its author, Steve Henry (rapper Bugsy H).
Portal, a remount of Peggy Baker's solo that was honoured with the 2008 Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding New Choreography and Outstanding Performance. Portal strips the act of dancing to the bone. In this stark and enigmatic solo, Peggy Baker shares a silent theatre with the audience, dancing brief passages in tiny shards of light; a solitary figure stranded at the brink of eternity.