john oswald at Premiere Dance Theatre (207 Queen's Quay West) through January (can be viewed after curtain time during performances at the theatre -- see NOW's dance listings, page 83, for performance times). Rating: NNNNN
getting in to see composer (of Plunderphonics infamy), choreographer and photographer John Oswald's current photo show at Premiere Dance Theatre involves the kind of operational anarchy that is their creator's hallmark.It may not be Oswald's intention to make it tricky to see his manipulated portraits of dancers, but knowing that viewers may be fudging the rules must feel, well, fitting. His images of notable locals -- including Bill Coleman and Laurence Lemieux, Tom Hui, Andrea Nann and Kathleen Rea -- are currently hanging in the theatre lobby. If you don't have a ticket to a show, you can go in during performances (which usually start at 8 pm) if you ask nicely and the staff aren't too busy.
Even though a trip to the waterfront won't guarantee you a look, it's still worth the effort. Oswald, who says this body of work grew out of the snapshots he'd been taking of friends (he's a fixture on the dance scene), has created a breathtaking series of images, including the 100-body-strong 100 Dance Souls (spot local legends including Susan MacPherson and Marie-Josée Chartier). He plays with darkroom magic in ways that invoke everything from Cubism to Impressionism.
This is only the second time Oswald has exhibited photos. His first piece, part of a group show in London, England, was snapped up by New York's Museum of Modern Art.