Selected Posts

The ‘Dance’ Category

Big Dance Little Stage, Wed & Thurs Oct 5 & 6, 8 pm

August 25th, 2016
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Learie_BDLS_0196_cWednesday and Thursday, October 5 & 6, 2016, 8 pm, $10. The next edition of Big Dance Little Stage, our ongoing contemporary dance showcase series hosted by choreographer Learie Mc Nicolls. The BDLS showcases are an exciting opportunity for dancers to showcase new work, explore improvisations, and build new collaborations. Line-up includes a new work in progress by Lisa Emmons with dancer/violist Anthony Rapoport, a new work performed by Angela Del Franco, belly dance by Jackie Pullar and Nimmi Kalra-Brenzil (Wed only), Megan English with Dale Morningstar (Thurs only). Live visuals by Judith Sandiford.

Dance, Event

Trinite, Roots en Route events at Artword, Mon Sept 26

August 19th, 2016
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renr_logoRoots en Route Festival of World Music, Dance, Spoken Word, presented by Matapa in multiple venues. http://www.matapa.org/ and  http://rootsenroutefest.com/new-events/
Events at Artword Artbar:
Dance-Trinite_cMonday, September 26, 2016, 8:30 pm. $20 (advance reserve 905-543-8512), $25 door. Trinite dance trio:
Nickeshia Garrick ,(Canada); Collette Murray (Canada);
Shelly Ann Mc Leod (Trinidad). These three women entertain and educate, through movement and song.

Dance, Event, Music, Music-World, Special event

Dance: Learie Mc Nicolls, Roots en Route at Artword, Sun Sept 25

August 18th, 2016
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renr_logoRoots en Route Festival of World Music, Dance, Spoken Word, presented by Matapa in multiple venues. http://www.matapa.org/ and  http://rootsenroutefest.com/new-events/
Events at Artword Artbar:
artword_box_0990Sunday, September 25, 2016, 8 pm, $20 (advance reserve 905-543-8512), $25 door. Artword Theatre presents a dance double-bill:
Once I Lived in the Box (30-minute version) is choreographed by Learie Mc Nicolls, performed by dancers Angela Del Franco, Sharon Harvey, Tanis Macarthur and Learie Mc Nicolls. “Once I lived in the box/ hated the box/ loved the box/ respected the box/ got angry at the box… ” The piece is a sequence of trios, duets and solos, that reveal different aspects of isolation and connection, vulnerability and trust. Learie_McNicolls_0194_cThe full length version of this stunning work premiered at the Hamilton Fringe Festival 2016, to rave reviews.
The Parrot of Paradise is a Caribbean tale told in dance and spoken word, written and performed by Learie Mc Nicolls. This is the premiere of a new work. It tells a story of a individual chosen to tell a short tale of a particular incident on a particular island. The story draws on Learie’s own experience growing up in the Caribbean, and is partly autobiographical, partly historical. Duration 20 mins.

Dance, Event, Theatre

“the best thing you see at the Fringe this year” review by Amos Crawley

July 21st, 2016
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Once I Lived in the Box
Review by Amos Crawley, Published July 20, 2016   https://raisethehammer.org/fringe/2988/once_i_lived_in_the_box

Once I Lived In The Box is a dire warning. It’s a tired and nearly, nearly defeated voice crying out in the middle of a windy, terrifying night. It is by turns haunting, sensual, humorous, distant and visceral. Like the Otis Redding version of A Change Is Gonna Come that scores a marvelous solo, it’s a show that never once apologizes for the pain of being alive.

It is a shared experience in that way – it’s us who are being warned: STOP! We hold on to our faked generosity, our small ownerships, our secret hate for dear life as if we ourselves are not part of a continuum-as if we do not all break the same way.

The show begins with the razor edge feeling of a situation that can’t possibly end well. Then quickly we are in the hustle and bustle of a life where life is that which gets swept away-hidden.

The show moves for the most part with the undeniable pulse of heartbreak. We are perhaps doomed and our inner turmoil is a result of the lack of faith we put in one another, of a true generosity of spirit. That’s the price we all gotta pay. Isn’t it a pity?

Mc Nicolls and his gifted, dedicated performers unselfishly make the political personal so that at the turn of a phrase or a fade in the music (the evening is accompanied by some of the most exquisite music of the 20th century) we have gone from the world at large to the most intimate trials and tribulations of a love affair.

It may be a warning, but it is not a hopeless warning. There is always joy available. We’re gonna end up in a box anyhow-why live in one too?

It may be a warning. It may also be the best thing you see at the Fringe this year.

Amos Crawley is an actor, director and acting instructor who lives in East Hamilton with his wife, actor and director Cadence Allen, and their young son.

Dance, Hamilton Fringe Theatre Fest, Theatre

“Visceral, raw strength…” “passionately and creatively written and performed”

July 21st, 2016
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Once I Lived in the Box Review in View Magazine July 21 2016 by Heather Baer

Visceral, raw strength are words which came to mind while watching Once I Lived in the Box, a full-length dance work passionately and creatively written and performed by awarding winning choreographer Learie Mc Nicolls. Joining him are four beautiful women (Jamila Bello, Angela Del Franco, Sharon Harvey, and Tanis Macarthur) equally talented in their own right and each having a background in various movement forms from hip-hop to yoga and everything in between.

Once I Lived in the Box was inspired by a 10 page poem of the same name written by Mc Nicolls (“…because I have a lot to say”, quips Mc Nicolls when asked at a Q&A session after opening night) and reveals issues of vulnerability and trust as show through a series of solos, duets and quartets interwoven around, in, on and through movable pieces of “the box”.

The passion for and commitment to the piece and to their craft was expressed by the artists in every move from the fluid cadence of limbs to the exact placement of fingers as well as tell-tale glances and nods sometimes working in harmony and other times in opposition.

Come and enjoy this unique exposition. The artistry continues for the rest of the weekend at Artword Artbar.

Dance, Hamilton Fringe Theatre Fest, Theatre

Gary Smith rave reviews for Box and Toller

July 16th, 2016
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Out there on the Fringe: Three plays that take us on a journey of discovery
Gary Smith  The Hamilton Spectator, 16 Jul 2016
Gary Smith has written on theatre and dance for The Hamilton Spectator for more than 30 years.

There’s diversity on The Fringe. Take Once I Lived in the Box, a contemporary dance drama that asks you to feel drama through movement. Or Toller, a second look at a troubled genius who made skating look easy and life look hard. And then there’s Anybody Else, Ryan Sero’s biting comedy about art versus commercial success. Even Sigmund Freud turns up in that one.
These are three distinctly different, but compelling human journeys that tell us we’re alive and thinking somewhere on The Fringe.

artword_box_0990Once I Lived in the Box is an intimate, intensely personal dance drama where movement says what words cannot. Learie Mc Nicolls and four outstanding female performers take us to the edge of personal discovery, forcing us to escape theatrical stereotypes and confront our personal psyches. Mc Nicolls’ choreography gives his dancers freedom to express who they are; each being a different and skilled artist who lets movement take her to a private, enigmatic place.
Angela Del Franco, statuesque and lean, has something of a Martha Graham sensibility about her, warm and cool at the same time. Sharon Harvey is a compact firebomb of a dancer who eats space. And somewhere in between such polarities is Tanis Macarthur, a pale presence who moves like a spectre connecting this world with some other time and place.
Mc Nicolls’ world of demons and darlings, set free in a performance that’s honest and pure, is enticing. And when the man himself puts on his familiar black derby he moves like a cross between a Bengal tiger and some latter day Mr. Bojangles: pure honey dripping from a spoon. Jamila Bello adds occasional words of wisdom via spoken raplike passages that bookend the performance.
Sophisticated and startling, Once I Lived in the Box plays at Artword Artbar, 15 Colbourne St., July 19 to 22 at 9 p.m. and Sat. July 23 at 6 and 9 p.m.

Back in Hamilton for a second time is Sky Gilbert’s poetic drama Toller. If you missed it before, this is a perfect chance to catch one of the best works of the season. A tortured genius, Toller Cranston was a remarkable painter and a brilliant ice skater. He was a man who saw life through the opposite end of the telescope. His own emotions, sexual identity and theatrical attitude were simply part of his genius and Gilbert’s play. Here is a dazzling picture of the artist as a troubled human being. Imaginatively directed by Gilbert, and acted with great understanding and simplicity by David Tomlinson, Toller is luminous. It’s something Hamilton Fringe should be proud of. It’s at Artword Artbar, July 16 at 4 and 8 p.m. and July 17 at 2 p.m. For goodness sake, go see it. Read more…

Dance, Hamilton Fringe Theatre Fest, Theatre