By Paula Citron
Water, Go Rivering
Sashar Zarif Dance Theatre
Choreographed by Sashar Zarif (with Katherine Duncanson as creative facilitator)
Performed by Lucy Rupert, Heidi Strauss, Yvonne Ng and Zarif
The Theatre Centre, Sept. 23 to Oct. 2, 2010
The choreography of Sashar Zarif is a wonderful example of Toronto multiculturalism in the arts. Zarif was born in Azerbaijan, and his work is influenced by the traditions of the Caucuses, Iran and the “stans”.
Water, Go Rivering is inspired by Sufi-Shamanic water rituals. Zarif does a brief solo at the beginning to set the locale, but the bulk of the piece is performed by three of the best dancers in the city – Yvonne Ng, Lucy Rupert and Heidi Strauss. There is an enchanting video design by Jeremy Mimnagh and an exotic Persian-influenced score by Eric Cadesky and Pirouz Yousefain.
The choreography is mysterious and beautiful. Zarif has costumed the dancers in traditional Asian clothing and so the movement and texture of material plays an important part.
I came away feeling I was watching priestesses communing with Mother Earth. I did, however, want to see Zarif more integrated into the piece.
Water, Go Rivering continues at the Theatre Centre until Oct. 2.