Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
In this piece for three dancers, local choreographer Renée Vandale’s dark theme is the struggle to escape the torment of eating disorders and other mental illness. Dancers Rachelle Bourget, Grace Hanley and Sarah Helmer, in striking costumes with a sci-fi bondage flavour, have technique and presence to spare. Rigged-up ropes borrowed from the circus arts allow for hanging, swinging and supported movement. The ropes (as well as pointe shoes — a comment on ballet’s body-image tyranny?) represent the bonds that are eventually cast off. Some strong images are created.
But the show takes about 20 minutes’ worth of material and stretches it into a very long, belaboured hour that doesn’t engage emotionally. Impact is lost as each choreographic idea is driven home for too long. Much of the show is set to an almost unbearably oppressive soundtrack of droning, industrial-style noise. By the time the performers are liberated, the viewer is numb.
— Alison Mayes
Director: Renée Vandale
Cast: Dancers: Rachelle Bourget, Grace Hanley, Sarah Helmer, Renée Vandale
Returning after 2013's RUPTURE (**** - CBC) and 2011's The Scents of Tang (**** - CBC), contemporary dance artist Renée Vandale presents VERIKA. Three creatures create a dark, cold, cave-like world with movement inspired by the struggles of eating disorders and other mental illness.
Featuring Winnipeg-based dancers: Rachelle Bourget, Grace Hanley, Sarah Helmer and Renée Vandale.
Film work by Kayla Jeanson.
Audience Classification: Parental Guidance
Length: 60 mins.
Updated on Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 1:38 PM CDT: