Skip to main content

Fleurette Africaine - a Multi-Disciplinary Performance by Wind in the Leaves Collective

Fleurette Africaine
Wind in the Leaves Collective
Dancemakers at the Distillery District
Toronto - September 17, 2011

Projections and poetry, history, dance and music fid common ground in Fleurette Africaine, a production-in-progress I caught last night (September 17). The Wind in the Leaves Collective is a multi-disciplinary group and Saturday night the performed a piece that's been three years in the making, weaving together their arts in a kind of poetic story cycle. Writer Charles C. Smith's voice and his poetry is the constant thread in a series of scenes or segments that involve dancers, a guitarist and the projected images of visual artists and a photographer in various combinations.

Charles' poetry is dense and weighty, full of both imagery and import. Clutching curbstones against the weight of despair... the dancers pair with one another and then spin off on their own; at one point a dancer grabs the papers from his hands. The multi disciplines represented weave in and out of each other during the course of the performance, at times in synch and at others more complementary than literal in their interpretation. The personal and historical narratives are linked thematically by the experience of the African in North America, from slavery in Canada to alienation of an immigrant in the cauldron of New York City

The recorded music is jazzy and often dissonant, guitarist Harvey Weisfeld's live performance insistently melodic while intricate and bluesy. The segments flow into each other, sometimes with a brief pause, and the variety and talent of the performers is what brings the various stories to life. Some are personal, and of these the two stand out scenes involves memories of father and mother. After his father dies, he speaks of he and his mother as ...the two remaining edges of our strange trinity... These scenes achieve a real poignancy.

Both the music and the dancers provide the emotional thread and drama of the stories, and here the latter display an expressive gift and a high standard. Co-choreographer Olga Barrios was striking in a variety of roles. I'd already seen her dramatic choreography in Aluna Theatre's Nohayquiensepa earlier this year. Kevin Ormsby (the other Co-Choreographer) has a compelling stage presence that holds your attention even when he's standing still, and a developed sense of theatricality that made it look effortless.

It's described as a work in progress so I might expect some trimming and tweaking to take place here and there as it solidifies, but it's a watchable and interesting project.

Images by Christopher Cushman

Charles C. Smith Artistic Director/Poet
Co-Choreographer and Dancers Olga Barrios and Kevin A. Ormsby
Visual Artists Robin Styba, Anahita Azrahimi
Harvey Weisfeld on acoustic guitar
Dancers Miranda Liverpool, Mikhail Morris, Amanda Paixão, Melissa Noventa
Photographer Rainer Soegtrop


Popular posts from this blog

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

Film News - imagineNATIVE Embargo Collective at the Berlin Film Fest

Hot Off the Presses:
(and gosh, doesn't that expression sound quaint these days?)

to have its European Premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival 2010
(Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin 11.-21.02.10)

(Toronto, February 3rd, 2010) The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is pleased to announce the official selection of the festival’s Embargo Collective programme for the Forum Expanded section of this year’s Berlin International Film Festival. This programme of works was commissioned by the imagineNATIVE festival for its 10th anniversary and will have its European premiere Monday, February 15th, 8.30pm at Cinema Arsenal 2 and a repeat screening Wednesday, February 17th, 4pm at CinemaxX 6.

Curated by imagineNATIVE’s Artistic Director Danis Goulet, the Embargo Collective is an international group of seven Indigenous artists at the forefront of the changing global landscape of Indigenous cinema. Inspired by Lars von Trier’s The Five Obstructi…

Guitar Rock | Happy Freuds - Echo Of Sounds Independent: May 31, 2019

Guitar Rock
Happy Freuds - Echo Of Sounds
Independent: May 31, 2019
Stream/Buy on Bandcamp
Stream it on Spotify

With tight musicians and intriguing lyrics, Happy Freuds delivers high energy guitar rock with stylistic flair on Echo Of Sounds, their debut release. Produced with a minimum of overdubs or fixes, the album consists of a mix of original material, rearrangements of works from others and selected, less known, classic rock.

A kinetic rhythm section is the bones of the music, offering interesting patterns that augment sometimes unexpected harmonic changes. It's brainy rock, in other words, meant for music lovers who can appreciate the quality. Teo's vocals are raspy and expressive, growly when necessary - perfect for the musical mode. Teo also covers lead guitar, adapt at ear worm leads, with a tone that can be clean or dirty as required

Their sound ranges from straight up hard rock in tracks like The Mountain to the pop-flavoured acoustic Background Noise and folky To …