Dubbed the "badass ballerina" and known for her raw energy, perfectionism and passion, the National Ballet of Canada 's Martine Lamy capped off her 22-year career May 8. Lamy was in terrific shape, a necessity for her challenging swan song, Etudes .
During an emotionally charged 2o-minute standing ovation, a procession of ballet notables, each bearing a rose - including Karen Kain , a leaping Rex Harrington and Veronica Tennant - crossed the flower- and balloon-filled stage to salute a surprised Lamy.
She chose Etudes in homage to former National artistic director Erik Bruhn , who, in a career-making vote of confidence, selected Lamy, then 18, for the principal role.
Days after the celebrations, Lamy has cut her hair, eaten calorific fave pad thai and played basketball in the park.
What else is on for the summer?
"Teaching at Dance Teq, looking after my new place, and I have one more show, a duet by Terrill McGuire I'll do with Robert Glumbek at the end of May during the Distillery Jazz Festival. I get to run my hands through my hair at one point, and I dance barefoot, something I've never done before onstage."
Skirting around Narcissus
For Christopher House 's Echo's Object (April 12-16, Premiere Dance Theatre), Jeremy Laing dressed 12 Toronto Dance Theatre dancers in incongruous outfits: one-piece bathing suits, white cotton undies, khakis, combat boots (doubling as tap shoes) and floor-sweeping skirts. In a show about narcissism, I suppose clothes count. But costume overshadowed choreography.
Each passage or tableau offered clever commentary about our obsession with our physical selves. Sections of outstanding dancing - a couple of duets and notable solos by Brendan Jensen , Sean Ling , Johanna Bergfeldt - felt truncated. Performed to Phil Strong 's soundscape of porn-flick groove and repetitive dissonant noise, the piece clocked in at 90 minutes (about 30 too many), giving ample time to watch the preening, vogueing and mirror-gazing on display.
House has always acknowledged his dancers' contributions, and some repetitive sequences would have been a snore without their skill and charisma. The set, featuring boudoir-style mirrors and roses, was free of the annoying accoutrements we've come to expect of TDT - props, video, suspended objects - but sadly, also absent was the fabulous House wit.
As part of the city-wide Metamorphosis Festival celebrating transformation in the arts, Toronto's Dancemakers marked its 30th anniversary with Metamorphoses (through May 20 at Premiere Dance Theatre), four new works inspired by Ovid's 15-volume anthology of mythical Greek tales. Unfortunately, due to a dancer's injury on opening night, Susie Burpee 's piece - the now ironically titled Mischance And Fair Fortune - had to be cancelled. Waxy-winged Icarus plunged to his death when he flew too near the sun, and in Julia Aplin 's Ick , the theatre's fourth wall has a meltdown, too. Five chatty performers tell us Ick's tale in full-frontal bouffon style dressed in cartoonish padded suits the performers created with Heather MacCrimmon . To John Gzowski 's unobtrusive score, this self-mocking Greek chorus of Hellenistic statues recaps Ick's doom - burps, belly-rubbing, cellulite and human protrusions included. Clever, silly and compact.
A sensual duet danced by Dan Wild and Linnea Swan is the highlight of Remains , based on the Arachne myth, by artistic director Serge Bennathan . Bennathan sits on a bench upstage while six performers dance in synch. Complete with spidery gestures and an enigmatic sequence of joy, all is well executed, but singing and passages of anxious muttering detract from the dance.
Kudos to anyone who can use video successfully in dance. Shannon Cooney 's Like Love To Gravity - based on the story of Echo and Narcissus - hit a bull's eye. At the start, Cooney, Alison Denham and Linnea Swan resemble sticky, creepy amoebas on the floor.
Using a small flashlight-style camera on a cable and a flat screen, the women explore what happens when you fall in love with your own image. Quirky, unihibited and entertaining.