'Frequency' and 'Weave'
An ensemble quintet and a solo work created by Yvonne Ng
Citadel Theatre, Toronto
Continues to March 11, 2012
The newly renovated Citadel Theatre and its intimate space are the perfect venue for this presentation of Yvonne Ng and her Tiger Princess Dance Projects. The show begins with her solo Weave, a poetic and evocative work that combines her fluid choreography with spoken word in a seamless flow. She takes facets of her own life growing up in an ethnic Chinese community in Singapore to explore the resonance of identity - from her own notes, the "frequencies" that vibrate inside the individual. "It's interesting how much fodder you can get from your parents," she says to laughter. She's a very engaging performer with a strong dramatic sensibility; flashes of humour, absurd detail and moments of truth that light up the piece. She's accompanied by a moody and minimalistic score.
Frequency, a piece for five dancers, begins with the quintet of dancers in underwear setting out pieces of clothing on the floor, all of it white and which they will put on and take off throughout the course of the performance. Then the male dancers are oddly imprisoned between the ankles of stiffly moving female dancers, a third getting dressed on the floor; the piece proceeds in similarly abstracted fashion to examine the interactions of the human species, with the dancers slipping in and out of various personas, including their own. The young and enthusiastic performers bring the piece to life with conviction, including dissonant and combative pairings where they dance at odds with each other. Sometimes they play harmonica, talk or hum rhythmically. In Yvonne's choreography, as in the solo piece, some movements are ritualistic, some rhythmic, some more theatrical.
The effect is augmented by flickering video projections on the back wall that echo their movements and add flashes of colour. Sometimes the dancers use electronic devices from old school tape recorders to smart phones, and in one sequence the devices have a disjointed conversation during a pas de deux of sorts. A pattern of white cloth on the back brick wall and the white on white set design overall with large lit globes that hang from the ceiling adds to the abstracted quality of the piece.
It's an in intriguing and inventive show you should check out this weekend. Performances continue to this Sunday.
(Image from rehearsals.)
Concept, Choreography and Direction: Yvonne Ng
Performers: Zhenya Cerneacov, Mairéad Filgate, Amy Hampton, Meredith Thompson, Brendan Wyatt
Video Artist: Jacob Niedzwiecki
Concept, Performance: Yvonne Ng
304 Parliament Street | Toronto, Ontario.
March 8th 2012 at 8pm: Premiere
March 9th and 10th 2012 at 8pm.
March 11th 2012 at 2pm.
Frequency from princess productions on Vimeo.