The Arts

Montreal Wrap – Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and RUBBERBANDance Group

Montreal Wrap – Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and RUBBERBANDance Group featured image

reviewed by Paula Citron

The Rite of Spring and Re-, II / Les Grands Ballets Canadiens
Choreographed by Stijn Celis and Shen Wei
Punto Ciego / RUBBERBANDance Group
Choreographed by Victor Quijada
At Place des Arts in Montreal

A trip to Montreal revealed a mother lode of dance riches. Les Grands Ballets Canadiens presented two works created for the company by current red hot dancesmiths, while Montreal’s own RUBBERBANDance Group featured Victor Quijada’s singular hip hop fusion.

Les Grands’ double bill included the world premiere of Belgian Stijn Celis’ The Rite of Spring and a remount of New York-based Shen Wei’s Re-, II. Both choreographers are also designers who treat movement as visual art. Celis is deft at patterning the ensemble, while Wei creates living sculpture.

Celis made a good stab at turning Stravinsky’s throbbing score into the battle of the sexes and raging hormones, but his surprisingly low-key ending blunted the work. Wei’s piece, a meditation on Cambodia’s Angkor Wat Temple, remains a stunner the second time around.

Quijada’s multimedia Punto Ciego for RUBBERBANDance is an ambitious but overlong exploration of shifting perspectives. Nonetheless, no one in the country can match the seamless fluidity of Quijada’s choreography.

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