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Face 2 Face

October 26, 2017

Laurie Young, photograph by Guntar Kravis

Every minute, lightning strikes Earth 360 times, 243,000 photos are uploaded to Facebook and two million red blood cells regenerate in your body. So says Laurie Young, who presents a fascinating and reflexive 60-minute dance work, How is Now, as part of the contemporary Face 2 Face dance event in downtown Ottawa this week.

Accompanied by composer and drummer Johannes Malfatti, who towers over the tiny dancer, Young contemplates the variables and mysteries of time in a work that focuses on creative repetition, intermittent blackouts, and moving backwards in space and time. Malfatti’s accompaniment taps out the rhythm of the movement, ending in a curious rumble and creak under a half light that gives us the sense we’re in another dimension of time and space.

The 2017 Face 2 Face series, which is the fifth edition of an event that shines the spotlight on rising contemporary dance stars, highlights Canadian talent.

Now based in Berlin, Young worked with Ottawa’s Le Groupe Dance Lab before she co-founded Sasha Waltz and Guests. With a keen interest in history – she created an installation performance that traces 25 years of dance history in Berlin and is involved in creating choreographic audio guides for natural history museums around the world – perhaps it is no surprise that Young should present a study based on time.

Young’s How is Now, which plays again Thursday and Saturday at the Arts Court’s ODD BOX, is one of seven works being presented nightly until Saturday.

Thursday through Saturday, a triple bill of Canadian choreographers perform five varied works at La Nouvelle Scène Gilles Desjardins, in Studio A. Joshua Beamish, a New York-based Canadian choreographer known for his distinctive approach to dance, presents radios, a work by NAC associate dance artist Ame Henderson, and a piece of his own, Concerto, to the music of J.S. Bach.

areli moran and paige culley in daina ashbee unrelated

Areli Moran and Paige Culley in Daina Ashbee’s “Unrelated”

Also on the bill is another New York-based Canadian Belinda McGuire, who presents two works, Til 120, Again and The Eight Propositions, and dance theatre artist Cie Mossoux-Bonté of Belgium with her work Vice Versa, a duo for two female dancers, accompanied by Quebecois storyteller and singer Michel Faubert’s interpretation of the folk song, Les anneaux de Marianson.

On Friday and Saturday, at La Nouvelle Scène Gilles Desjardins’ Studio B, the edgy Montreal artist Daina Ashbee presents a dark and vulnerable work, Unrelated, a work set for two dancers that interprets the experience of Indigenous women in Canada.

For more information on the performances and on the event, visit the National Arts Centre website:


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