Natasha Bakht (Ottawa) and Compagnie Flak (Montreal)
Choreography by Natasha Bakht, Shobana Jeyasingh, José Navas. Film by Marlene Millar and Philip Szporer.
Thursday March 9 at 8pm
Market Hall Performing Arts Centre
336 George St. N.
Tickets: $15/$12 students seniors underemployed
Call to reserve your seats: (705) 745-1788
A solo, by its very nature, amplifies the dancer and draws attention to the politics of the body. Its many layers (aesthetic, functional, animal among many others) are the starting points for Triptych Self. It is partnered by music which is wide ranging and which aims to site the dancing body in a place which is culturally, stylistically and historically volatile.
Natasha Bakht in Triptych Self, choreographed by Shobana Jeyasingh.
photo: David Hou
dancer: Natasha Bakht
Turning on its head the notion that incidental remarks are mere comments made in passing, Obiter Dictum plays with the concept of asides that carry no authoritative weight-suggesting instead that the impact of a secret or chance meeting may be greater than initially perceived. Supported by music that reverses the typical ordering of a North Indian raga, this solo is rich in rhythmic structure and disturbs formulaic notions of contemporary dance.
Obiter Dictum, choreographer/dancer: Natasha Bakht
photo: Cylla Von Tiedemann
Portable Dances is a piece in three parts, working with the simplicity of movement and light. It includes a duet (Pas de Deux for Four Dancers), a solo by José Navas (Solo with Light) and a trio (Trio in White). The three sections are designed to be performed either on their own or together. Only the trio will not be seen in Peterborough. However, the three remarkable dancers who perform the trio also take part in the duet, along with José.
Pas de Deux for Four Dancers, choreographed by José Navas, dancers: Jose Navas and Chanti Wadge
photo: Michael Slobodian
Moments in Motion (2005)
Producers/Directors: Marlene Millar and Philip Szporer
Moments in Motion is a series of seven short films profiling Canadian choreographers, each powerful voices from the new generation. From diverse cultures and backgrounds, these artists are cultivating new ground, questioning established codes and redefining the language of choreography. The film presents their distinct worlds through cinéma-vérité and dance for camera sequences. By infiltrating their communities, studios and homes, the camera seizes the essence of their day-to-day worlds. Tonight's film features Natasha Bakht from Ottawa.
Bodies in motion construct and deconstruct lines of movement across the space, abstract cartography. Between meditation and acceleration, fluidity and contrasts, they become traces, lines and characters. They seek the calligraphy of movement in what is simplest and most essential. Alexander MacSween has composed the soundtrack, using the voices of the dancers: Mira Peck, Magali Stoll and Chanti Wadge.
Solo with Light, choreographer/dancer José Navas
photo: Michael Slobodian
Natasha Bakht has trained in bharatanatyam under Menaka Thakkar of Toronto for over twenty years. With the Menaka Thakkar Dance Company she has toured primarily classical repertoire through North America, Europe and Asia. Since 1990, she has worked with Canadian contemporary choreographers Joan Phillips, Roger Sinha and Robert Desrosiers in a variety of festivals including, the Canada Dance Festival, the Dancing on the Edge Festival and fFida. Natasha danced with the Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company in London, England for three seasons. In England she also worked with British choreographers Laurie Booth and Wayne McGregor's Random Dance Company. Her own choreography includes three solos created for herself including Obiter Dictum which was nominated for a 2003 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Choreography.
"Shobana Jeyasingh's solo features the exquisite dancing of Natasha Bakht…The stunning Bakht, replete with gorgeous long legs and arms, is supple, elastic and precise, and the choreographer has utilized the dancer's strength in creating the quirky and unpredictable Triptych Self…In short, Jeyasingh has created an homage to a perfect body, but one in which the mind is in a whirl. It is, in fact, this feeling of restless energy that elevates Triptych Self from pure dance to the agony and ecstasy of being a modern-day woman."
~ Paula Citron, The Globe and Mail, February 26, 2005
The Venezuelan-born artist José Navas exhudes natural charisma. Trained as a dancer, he now pursues a rich choreographic career. With a repertory that includes more than twenty pieces, Navas has quickly become a regular at some of the world's most prestigious venues for contemporary dance: Vienna's Im Puls Festival, Joyce Theater in New York, London's Dance Umbrella, Venice Biennale and Aoyama Theatre, in Tokyo. His work has been internationally acclaimed for the universes he creates: formalistic, fantastic, the audience's only compass there is their own emotion. After studying dance in Caracas and at the Merce Cunningham Studio in New York, José Navas moved to Montréal and started choreographing his own work. In 1995, he founded Compagnie Flak and began an international career. Among his numerous creations, Sterile Fields (1996), One Night Only 3/3 (1998), Solo with Cello (2001), Perfume de Gardenias (2000) and Adela, mi amor (2004) are the landmark works of his choreographic journey.
"Navas at the height of his art. If you like dance even a little, you must hurry to l'Agora de la danse (…) A dance that seduces by its pure lines and its precise and obsessive rhythm. (…) In Pas de Deux for Four Dancers, Navas surrounds himself with three splendid dancers. All four of them evolve with a crazy ease."
~ Stéphanie Brody, La Presse, Montreal, 2005
Based in London she founded the Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company in 1988 which tours annually in Britain and abroad. Visits to North America include Jacob's Pillow, the Joyce Theatre in NYC and performances in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. As artistic director/choreographer she has won numerous awards including the Prudential Award for the Arts. Shobana holds an honorary MA from Surrey University, an honorary doctorate from De Montfort University and she is a Research Associate at Middlesex University.
Philip Szporer is a freelance writer, broadcaster, filmmaker and international lecturer based in Montreal. He is Scholar in Residence at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and was awarded a National Dance/Media Fellowship (UCLA). He lectures at Concordia University, and writes for a number of publications. Amongst other media projects, he co-directed and produced, with filmmaker Marlene Millar, Moments in Motion, Raising the Bar, and The Hunt.
Marlene Millar is a Montreal-based filmmaker and editor with a background in contemporary dance. Co-founder with Philip Szporer of the arts film company Mouvement Perpétuel, recent productions include Moments in Motion, Raising the Bar, and The Hunt. Creating dance for camera work since 1989, Marlene is recipient of a UCLA Dance Media/Project Fellowship and Kodak Award. She's taught filmmaking in Burkina Faso, at Bowling Green State University (Ohio), Concordia University and Main Film (Montreal).