‘Makers shakin’

Rating: NNNNNThere's something for everyone in choreographer and poet Serge Bennathan's unique, soul-baring mix of powerful performance, cerebral concepts and.

Rating: NNNNN

There’s something for everyone in choreographer and poet Serge Bennathan’s unique, soul-baring mix of powerful performance, cerebral concepts and technical trickery, Few Thousand Miles….

His eight-member Dancemakers crew showcase all their considerable chops in the up-close-and-personal environs of the Theatre Centre, where subtle facial expressions and the sounds of human breath become as crucial to the package as the high-powered moves and emotionally potent narrative.

Set to Bennathan’s own overtly personal poems about a life lived in pursuit of dance, and augmented by a hypnotic string score by Geoffrey Bennett, the hour-long show is a captivating, kaleidoscopic haul over the peaks and into the valleys of the physical arts.

Beautifully recited and acted out by Hope Terry, the verses evoke a vast range of feelings, while the demanding choreography carries the dancers through their mood swings on a truckload of stylistic surprises.

Fear, foreboding and anguish over the loss of friends and fellow dance-world denizens figure prominently in Bennathan’s journey. But he consistently jacks up the crowd with high doses of borderline surreal, unexpected humour.

To wit, Julia Aplin pulls off a most absurdly manic tap routine. At one point, during the mock intermission, Julia Sasso conducts her cohorts in a silly choral arrangement concerning cookies and cats.

And the climax — Terry’s dramatic solo sprint alongside the group’s slo-mo striding — is worth the price of admission alone.

Daring stuff. Under Bennathan’s direction, the ‘Makers have come, as the title suggests, a very long way.

FEW THOUSAND MILES…, written and choreographed by SERGE BENNATHAN, performed by DANCEMAKERS, at the Theatre Centre (1032 Queen West) through May 27, Thursday-Saturday at 8 pm, matinee Wednesday at 1 pm. $15. 538-0988. Rating: NNNN

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