its first performance in 1981, Tangente has consistently explored
and developed new approaches to dance by featuring trend-setting
contemporary choreographers such as Ginette Laurin, Marie
Chouinard, Daniel Soulières, Louise
Bédard and Andrew Harwood – to name a few
of the 40 choreographers and partnerships the company has featured.
Tangente’s unique footprint in integrating music and theatre
into dance programs has not only raised the dance bar but eyebrows
beyond the island of Montreal, and as such has become a hub
for artists working in multi-disciplinary areas. Always seeking
the spirit of adventure in dance, Tangente attracts dancers
and choreographers in pursuit of excellence and innovation.
With a seating capacity of 91 housed in Agora de la dance (of
which it is a founding member), Tangente is able to present
conceptually bold performances within a unique, intimate environment.
In 2007, the Grand Prix des Arts de Montréal was awarded
to Tangente. Deena Davida is the driving artistic force behind
Tangente’s remarkable reputation.
ROCK STEADY, Katie
"What's the energy in the
room between people?" That's the question colourfully answered
by Katie Ward in her bizarre piece. Huge elastic bands snap back
and forth around four dancers' bodies to create the tensions that
occur between people both on an emotional and physical level.
Nothing is static when humans are involved. Sculptural forms of
interlocking bodies seperate and then tightly adhere to visually
tell the story of energies united, clashing, and harmonizing,
but always transforming and affecting one another. The bonds that
bind us and undo us allow for joy, self-pity, solitude, self-control,
repression, and sexual playfulness. Vocality, monolgue and conversation
weave in and out of this theatrical work. Those elastic bands
caught around Ward's flexible dancers show us that no man is an
island: Ward claims to have worked at NASA as a physicist. Her
exploration into molecules, protons and particles seem to have
found their own new space to dance around in . . . "Rock Steady."
A brilliant piece of choreography
with dancers - Sophie Breton, Dominic Caron and Patrick Lamonthe
- performing each liquid movement in slow motion. Most of the
action is choreographed with full floor body contact.
The piece begins
with the dancers tightly entwined in a huddled human knot. The
interior of Gaudí’s la Sagrada Familia, whose cathedral
beams embody huge interconnecting bones, seems to be referenced
here. The dancers’ elbows, arms and hands poke up and
out, visually creating our inner anatomy. This corporal ossification
motif is enhanced all the more by the crescendo taped sounds
of bones crushing. After a good ten minutes, the dancers disentangle
themselves to explore the strange sterile environment on stage:
a polymer body suit, a table, an enormous plastic bag, and a
female garment. Each of these items seems to become part of
the innards of their bodies as they interact with them. Taped
sounds of ice crushing, trains rolling on tracks, and stomachs
gurgling dehumanize the entire piece; these dancers seem to
become mysterious organisms themselves. There is no recognizable
emoting or human interacting other than the occasional draping
of torsos over one another. Strangely hypnotic and serene, Méta
is like no other piece in the contemporary dance world. What
a feat to turn the human body into an object of fascination.
Dancing 50 minutes in slow motion without a hint of tremor reveals
each dancer’s remarkable technique.
1976, Dana Michel
A clever spoof on Olympic
sports mutated into dance performed by Michel’s company,
Band of Bless. The weight lifter, skater, swimmer are there,
but other segments are left to the viewer’s imagination.
The two dancers -- Dana Michel herself and Ashlea Watkin --
perform solo pieces rich in elastic and staccato movements.
However, given their physical prowess and the Olympian theme,
one wishes Michel, as choreographer, had created a segment where
both she and Watkin possessed the stage duking it out with a
winner or loser stepping up onto the lit risers standing stagnant
at the back of the stage. Technically flawless, but sparse in