Review: The Art of Stealing (Firehall Arts Centre, until May 31)

Sneak preview:

Contemporary dance employs a language that I do not fully understand. But the ambiguity and the necessity to engage are part of what can make a contemporary dance production enthralling and thought-provoking.

The Art of Stealing is a technical marvel. The well-done lighting made figures seem to pop up out of nowhere. The dancers are lithe and acrobatic, and a joy to watch. The spare industrial character of the set reflects a post-apocalyptic world in an urban wasteland. The sound complemented the movement. The spare costumes accentuate the grimness of the dancers’ world. Keep your eyes open for the humour–it’s there.

Whatever you think of Lululemon, they have been influential in the world of fashion. This show has been done in collaboration with Lululemon Labs.

What is The Art of Stealing about? I have fragments of impressions. As I said, contemporary dance uses what is for me a non-native idiom. I’ll copy the description from Firehall:

A gang of six survivors work together and against each other, striving to manipulate, compete and endure in a mysterious, post-apocalyptic world. This exploration of transformation, survival and death from critically acclaimed contemporary dance company, the response, uses Amber Funk Barton’s  visceral, high-energy choreography to delve into the idea of stealing – what we take from each other, both physically and emotionally.  The gang struggle between conflict and cooperation, but the ultimate thief in life will outlast them all.

Watch a mini-documentary of The Art of Stealing.




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