Michael Crabb’s Coverage of the Season Gone by

Michael Crabb of the Toronto Star is one of Toronto’s dance authorities. This season, Crabb wrote five preview articles about most of our Mainstage productions.  Here is a little of what he had to say.

Photo: Susie Burpee and Linnea Swan The season began with the playful Road Trip by Susie Burpee and Linnea Swan. The two described Road Trip‘s bouffon foundation in an interview with Crabb, “Bouffon,” Swan elaborates, “rides the edge of good taste, with humour on the surface, but a dark underbelly.” Says Burpee: “We want to give people food for thought.”

RUBBERBANDance in Gravity of Centre

Next came RUBBERBANDance Group from Montreal.  Crabb of the Toronto Star described the inspiration for the work,”it was the ricocheting financial crisis triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 that set acclaimed Montreal choreographer Victor Quijada on the path toward Gravity of Center.” Hundreds of screaming teenagers attended two matinees of Gravity of Center. It quickly became the best selling show in DanceWorks’ history.

Homoblablatus, Photo by Lydia Pawelak

Seventh Sense, Photo by Emily Cooper

Then the lovely Miriam Allard arrived in the cold of February with her intriguing Homoblablatus.  “Be prepared for a ‘virtual’ duet between a live dancer and her on-film partner, and another in which two dancers occupy the same signature frilly flamenco skirt. And expect to leave with your notions of flamenco turned deliciously upside down.” mused Crabb.

Following La Otra Orilla, was Wen Wei Dance from Vancouver.  The exquisite troupe from Vancouver presented Wen Wei Wang’s new work 7th Sense. Crabb described the creative process, “In a departure from his customary approach to making a new dance, for 7th Sense Wang himself decided to relinquish a degree of control. He began by asking the dancers to imagine they were some kind of animal and to improvise movement, not so much imitative as expressive of what an animal might be feeling. From this the work slowly evolved into a complex, 65-minute group work.”

Akshongay, Photo by John Lauener

Next came the duet between Louis Laberge-Côté and Nova Bhattacharya, Akshongay.  Crabb reflected on the partnership, “Theirs is an intimacy born of mutual artistic curiosity. Though in no way romantic — each is married to others — the intimacy they share through dance has forged a powerful bond. Watching a studio run-through earlier this week it was clear how closely attuned they are, physically and emotionally.”

Thank you Mr. Crabb for your dedication to contemporary dance in Toronto.

Eight Answers from Wen Wei Wang

Photo by Steven LemayWhat is your favourite word?


What is your favourite book?

Call me by your Name by André Aciman

Where is your favourite place?  


What do you like to eat on your birthday?  


What is your guilty pleasure television show or website?  

Saturday Night Live

What style/technique was your first dance lesson?

Chinese classical dance

What profession, other than dance artist, would you like to attempt?


What is the Seventh Sense about in five words or less?  

Physical, Mental, Intuition, Emotions and Relationships.

Seventh Sense premieres in Edmonton and tours to Toronto on March 1st and 2nd at the Fleck Dance Theatre.

Short and Sweet with Marie France Forcier

Forcier Stage Works, Lab Rats
Wed. Jan 9 – Thur. Jan 10, 2013, 8:00 pm
Fri. Jan 11 – Sat. Jan 12, 2013, 7:00 & 9:00 pm
@ HUB 14, 14 Markham St.

For tickets, please call 416-204-1082

What is your favourite word?


What is your favourite book?

Monsieur Malaussène by Daniel Pennac.

Where is your favourite place?

I have many. In Canada, I really like Vancouver. In the United States, I enjoy Austin, Texas. Internationally, I love Prague.

What do you like to eat on your birthday?

I like anything that goes well with Pinot Noir.

If you have pets, where do they like to sleep during the day?

I have a cat, Scarlett. These days, she likes to sleep on the radiator.

What style/technique was your first dance lesson?

Like many, I was three and it was ballet. (It was probably more creative dance than ballet-based.)

What profession, other than dance artist, would you like to attempt?


What is Lab Rats about in five words or less?

Inner world, isolation, coping mechanisms.

This interview has been edited for length and content.