The Invincible Peggy Baker

Rating: NNNNNWho is she? Modern dance genius, accessible, electric, nice. She's danced with Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Baryshnikov and Morris's.


Rating: NNNNN

Who is she? Modern dance genius, accessible, electric, nice. She’s danced with Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Baryshnikov and Morris’s White Oak Dance Project and has embarked on one of the most successful solo careers around. If you’ve seen her, you remember. If you haven’t, this is your chance.

What’s she up to? Ever the experimenter, Baker is debuting Interior View, from November 9 to 18 at the Betty Oliphant Theatre (404 Jarvis). Using music by Scriabin and John Cage, she and pianist Andrew Burashko invite the audience onto the stage to experience dance up close and personal.

Prediction? Baker’s intensity is overwhelming in an ordinary theatre setting. Onstage with her, it should be dynamite. Seating is limited, so buy early. And remember to turn off that cellphone.

The Indie Wonder

SUSANNA HOOD

WHO IS SHE? Choreographer, composer, dancer, producer, singer, actor… the pixie-ish Hood does everything.

What’s she up to? She’s wearing all of the above hats in Still, previewing Wednesday (November 8) at Artword Theatre (75 Portland). The show, her first full-length work under her new company, hum, examines five colours through sound and movement. Abstract? You bet.

Prediction? Hood has fingers in all sorts of artistic pies — music, dance, film, theatre — so houses should be packed, at least with comped guests. The advance-publicity graphics are stunning, and the show’s a mere 60 minutes — just long enough for this kind of experimental stuff to work and not become tiresome. The buzz is good.

The Ingenue

SONIA RODRIGUEZ

Who is she? Prima ballerina in training. Also known as Mrs. Kurt Browning, the Toronto-born and Spain-raised Rodriguez is prepping for the spotlight — especially now that the National Ballet has promoted her from second soloist to first soloist to principal in a matter of months.

What’s she up to? Debuting in The Four Seasons (November 11 and 23), Don Quixote (November 18) and also appearing in The Firebird (November 10, 12 and 22).

Prediction? This is a — pardon the pun — turning-point season for Rodriguez, as the National and ballet audiences size up whether energy, youth and beauty can compensate for relative inexperience. She’s tried on smaller roles, but Quixote is ultra-demanding. The pressure’s on. If she succeeds. we could see her opening shows next year.

The Intense One

DENISE FUJIWARA

Who is she?The veteran dance artist has trod the boards intensely for more than two decades, and recently made a foray into theatre in Jean Yoon’s The Yoko Ono Project.

What’s she up to? Fujiwara brings Sumida River, her 1994 piece choreographed by Butoh master Natsu Nakajima, to Buddies in Bad Times (12 Alexander) November 22 to 26. It’s the reinterpretation of a highly stylized, 15th-century Noh play about a woman’s quest for her lost child.

Prediction? The continuing interest in world music and culture ought to ensure a crowd for this piece. Plus, Fujiwara’s always watchable. Her Yoko Ono dance in a box provided one of the most striking images of the year.

The Insurgent

CATHY GORDONMARSH

Who is she? GordonMarsh is uncategorizable. She’s toiled in theatre, dance and everything in between. She’s currently an associate artist with DNA Theatre, and holds the Ken McDougall Emerging Director’s Award.

What’s she up to? She’s part of Body Geometry: The Elastic Limit, the Theatre Centre’s quartet of dance-based “interdisciplinary creations” running November 22 to 25. Her experimental piece, Falling To Pieces, looks at a woman who accidentally falls out of her boss’s office window.

Prediction? GordonMarsh is on a roll after her imaginative direction of Sarah McDonald and Emily Hurson’s movement-rich Fringe show Sleepy Jean. This piece could successfully capture the balletic minefield of office angst.

glenns@nowtoronto.com

The Invincible

PEGGY BAKER

Who is she? Modern dance genius, accessible, electric, nice. She’s danced with Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Baryshnikov and Morris’s White Oak Dance Project and has embarked on one of the most successful solo careers around. If you’ve seen her, you remember. If you haven’t, this is your chance.

What’s she up to? Ever the experimenter, Baker is debuting Interior View, from November 9 to 18 at the Betty Oliphant Theatre (404 Jarvis). Using music by Scriabin and John Cage, she and pianist Andrew Burashko invite the audience onto the stage to experience dance up close and personal.

Prediction? Baker’s intensity is overwhelming in an ordinary theatre setting. Onstage with her, it should be dynamite. Seating is limited, so buy early. And remember to turn off that cellphone.

The Indie Wonder

SUSANNA HOOD

WHO IS SHE? Choreographer, composer, dancer, producer, singer, actor… the pixie-ish Hood does everything.

What’s she up to? She’s wearing all of the above hats in Still, previewing Wednesday (November 8) at Artword Theatre (75 Portland). The show, her first full-length work under her new company, hum, examines five colours through sound and movement. Abstract? You bet.

Prediction? Hood has fingers in all sorts of artistic pies — music, dance, film, theatre — so houses should be packed, at least with comped guests. The advance-publicity graphics are stunning, and the show’s a mere 60 minutes — just long enough for this kind of experimental stuff to work and not become tiresome. The buzz is good.

The Ingenue

SONIA RODRIGUEZ

Who is she? Prima ballerina in training. Also known as Mrs. Kurt Browning, the Toronto-born and Spain-raised Rodriguez is prepping for the spotlight — especially now that the National Ballet has promoted her from second soloist to first soloist to principal in a matter of months.

What’s she up to? Debuting in The Four Seasons (November 11 and 23), Don Quixote (November 18) and also appearing in The Firebird (November 10, 12 and 22).

Prediction? This is a — pardon the pun — turning-point season for Rodriguez, as the National and ballet audiences size up whether energy, youth and beauty can compensate for relative inexperience. She’s tried on smaller roles, but Quixote is ultra-demanding. The pressure’s on. If she succeeds. we could see her opening shows next year.

The Intense One

DENISE FUJIWARA

Who is she?The veteran dance artist has trod the boards intensely for more than two decades, and recently made a foray into theatre in Jean Yoon’s The Yoko Ono Project.

What’s she up to? Fujiwara brings Sumida River, her 1994 piece choreographed by Butoh master Natsu Nakajima, to Buddies in Bad Times (12 Alexander) November 22 to 26. It’s the reinterpretation of a highly stylized, 15th-century Noh play about a woman’s quest for her lost child.

Prediction? The continuing interest in world music and culture ought to ensure a crowd for this piece. Plus, Fujiwara’s always watchable. Her Yoko Ono dance in a box provided one of the most striking images of the year.

The Insurgent

CATHY GORDONMARSH

Who is she? GordonMarsh is uncategorizable. She’s toiled in theatre, dance and everything in between. She’s currently an associate artist with DNA Theatre, and holds the Ken McDougall Emerging Director’s Award.

What’s she up to? She’s part of Body Geometry: The Elastic Limit, the Theatre Centre’s quartet of dance-based “interdisciplinary creations” running November 22 to 25. Her experimental piece, Falling To Pieces, looks at a woman who accidentally falls out of her boss’s office window.

Prediction? GordonMarsh is on a roll after her imaginative direction of Sarah McDonald and Emily Hurson’s movement-rich Fringe show Sleepy Jean. This piece could successfully capture the balletic minefield of office angst.

glenns@nowtoronto.com

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