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Arms and legs with bodies in between

I went to see the Montreal based Companie Marie Chouinard perform last night in Halifax. The dances were 24 Preludes by Chopin and The Rite of Spring. The dancers were amazing.  Incredibly flexible bodies; exquisite movement.  The lighting alone could have made the evening; it often accented different dancers in different ways simultaneously.  The dances themselves were fascinating, provocative, challenging.

I definitely preferred the first piece, the Preludes.  It had humor, eccentricity, visual contrasts and some shocking body movements.  The hands, dangling from bent over bodies, were dancing objects.  As my friend Suzanne said when we were leaving, every choreographer seems to have a signature movement posture.  Chouinard’s is mainly the bent over body in a C shape, or upside down U.  In the first dance, the Preludes, that body shape was most expressive.  But for me, the humor and sensuality was missing in The Rite of Spring.  The dance was perfect, the dancing impeccable, but the one thing I personally dislike most about modern dance is when the arms take over and don’t stay with the body, just go off on their own and flap around.  Too much arms, not enough body.  I would have liked to see more sensual movement in the bodies in The Rite of Spring. But that’s not to say it wasn’t a magnificent performance.  An evening enjoyed.


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