Kathleen Smith’s top 5 dance shows

Koerner Hall, March 29This virtuoso Spanish artist is rewriting the story of flamenco. His background is pure tradition, but Galvan.


Koerner Hall, March 29

This virtuoso Spanish artist is rewriting the story of flamenco. His background is pure tradition, but Galvan is both driven and brave enough to break the rules.

Anandam Dancetheatre, Nuit Blanche, October 4

I was spellbound and becalmed by this 12-hour immersive meditation featuring stately aerial rope work, stunning projections and atmospheric music in the old Globe and Mail Press Hall. AD’s Brandy Leary is now on my watch list for 2015.

Tanztheater Wuppertal/Luminato and National Arts Centre, June 11 to 14 and November 7 and 8

After way too long an absence, Pina Bausch‘s company returned to Canada. Toronto got to see Kontakthof, Bausch’s brutal and elegant battle of the sexes. But travel to Ottawa or Montreal was required to see the much more luscious Vollmond. Both are profoundly moving dance experiences.

Public Recordings/Toronto Dance Theatre, February 20 to March 1

I don’t always enjoy choreographer Ame Henderson‘s work, though it’s both thoughtful and intelligent. But I loved Voyager, a dreamy yet intense hour of movement fuelled by TDT company members and guests and Jennifer Castle‘s piano and vocals.

Abraham.In.Motion/World Stage, February 5 to 8

An exploration of the importance of voice, both individual and community, this Kyle Abraham work is also a commentary on American culture. Abraham works with dynamite dancers, and his choreography is an irresistibly inventive blend of pop, hip-hop and classical.

My pal Jacob Niedzwieki‘s Jacqueries, Part 1 at SummerWorks had some structural problems, but he’s really onto something with this participatory tech-driven dance adventure. I can’t wait to see where it goes.

The parts-stronger-than-the-sum collaboration between urban dance duo Gadfly and Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie that yielded Uplica.

Unwarranted remounts and repeats

Sometimes you need to see it again (Kontakthof, the National Ballet of Canada’s Nijinsky) sometimes you just don’t.

Short runs

Two nights? Really? How can you hope to build an audience that’s more than friends and family with two- and three-night runs?

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