Emergency #3 featuring I Kant
The third edition of the Emergency festival of new dance and performance is my pick for most memorable of 1995. It ran February 8 – 11 at two locations: The Market Hall Theatre and The Union Theatre. Only the Market Hall program, with three works, was committed to video*.
These three pieces treated dance as just one technique in an arsenal of tricks, ranging from the slapstick of Kris Keating to the kitchen sink drama of scooter (aka Wes Ryan) and the acrobatics of Stephanie Corrin and Steacy Harper. Looking back at these works one is struck by the fact that all three share a common feature: the enthusiastic use of staged fights. Peter Ens and John Quinn in Double-O-Bondage; Anne Ryan and Nathan Govier in Kitten on a String with Fish Hooks; and Harper and Corrin in I Kant.
Every piece on the program was a hit but the one that brought the house down was undoubtedly I Kant. Steacy Harper’s dance/Cultural Studies essay seemed to sum up in the performance (and in the title) her feelings toward her academic pursuits at Trent University. As Mary Polito wrote in her story for the Arthur, “too much having to sit with the boys and talk about the boys.” You can just make out the drone of the male voice reading from the assigned texts, juxtaposed to the fun, funky music of Aaron Cavan and Randy Innis. As is made clear from the newspaper accounts, Steacy was determined to salvage something from her studies and this dance hit from Emergency #3 was it.
*The Union Theatre program featured works by Anne Ryan, Nicole Bauberger, Peirre Blin, and Stephen Elliott.