Dance Fest Get Tragically Hip

Spring Rites 2001: Premiere Dance Theatre, 207 Queen's Quay W. 416-973-4000 Rating: NNNNNAndrea Nann is preparing for some poetry in.

Spring Rites 2001:
Premiere Dance Theatre, 207 Queen’s Quay W. 416-973-4000 Rating: NNNNN

Andrea Nann is preparing for some poetry in motion. In the 15-minute piece Reveries, part of the Spring Rites 2001 fest lineup, the dancer/choreographer collaborates with Tragically Hip front man Gordon Downie, who’s better known lately as a best-selling poet (not an oxymoron). The two have known each other for more than a decade — she’s married to fellow musician Andy Maize, of the Skydiggers — but only began performing together recently, when Nann created “visual landscapes” for eight of Downie’s Coke Machine Glow poems. For Reveries, she sent Downie videotapes of her movements — inspired, she says, by her new role as a mom — with dancer Gerald Michaud, and the rocker studied them like a reporter. “He entered the project from the outside, and now he’s completely a part of it. The text and movement are integrated.” Innovation isn’t new for Nann, a dancer with Danny Grossman. “Many people find modern dance abstract and esoteric. If you bring something familiar like music or poetry in, it helps them find a way into the work.” Now that’s hip.

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