Wayne McGregor’s Entity took flight at World Stage.
1. ENTITY Random Dance/World Stage, February 28 to March 3
Despite that name, there was nothing random about Wayne McGregor's 10-person troupe, who gave a detailed, precise, yet emotionally rich demonstration of what the human body's capable of, all energized by the sounds of composer Joey Talbot and frequent Coldplay collaborator Jon Hopkins.
2. FROM THE HOUSE OF MIRTH Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie, May 9 to 13
There have been previous adaptations of Edith Wharton's novel about the rise and fall of a society woman, but none like this atmospheric opera/dance hybrid, where the men sang and the women (among them the luminous Laurence Lemieux in the lead) danced James Kudelka's steps, subtly underscoring an earlier era's ideas about gender, power and objectification.
3. POLITICAL MOTHER Canadian Stage, October 24 to 28
No one generated as much post-show buzz as Hofesh Shechter and his brash, ballsy, admittedly repetitive yet unforgettable fantasia that seemed to be about the devolution of politics from courtly jousts to oppressive dictatorships. Oddly apropos during the lead-up to the U.S. presidential election.
4. DARK MATTERS Canadian Stage/Kidd Pivot, February 28 to March 3
You don't often hear gasps from an audience, but that was the sound at the surprising first act of Crystal Pite's fascinating look at fate and free will, a mix of puppetry, horror movie tropes and movement that at times seemed to defy gravity.
5. ALCHEMY Sampradaya/NextSteps, November 22 to 24
Four choreographers took bits of vocabulary from Indian dance forms and made them into something completely fresh and exciting. As polished theatrically as it was choreographically, the mixed program also served as a showcase for Aakash Odedra, a man who performs as if he's possessed.
SADEH21 (Ohad Naharin and Batsheva at Luminato), HISTOIRE D'AMOUR (BoucharDanse/DanceWorks); AGWA/CORRERIA (Compagnie Käfig/World Stage)
FREQUENCY - the normally on-point Yvonne Ng stumbled with this monotonous group piece that seemed more concerned with costumes and tech than with movement. A shame, because it was paired with Ng's evocative autobiographical solo, Weave... part one.
SWAN LAKE - After last year's triumph by the Kirov, its competitor - the Bolshoi - delivered a cold and bloodless version of Tchaikovsky's classical chestnut that never took wing.