May 2nd marked the opening night for Éclats, an evening showcasing three mature and deeply personal solo works at the MAI theatre. In collaboration with the CanAsian festival/Festival Accès Asie, Éclats was an unprecedented joint presentation between Tangente and the Mai in Montreal.
For an almost sold-out crowd each artist delivered solid performances, leaving the audience feeling like they had just been told a treasure of secrets in three distinct and touchingly poetic languages.
William Yong started the evening with exquisitely delicate and fluid movements as he slowly encircled an open parachute that covered almost the entire stage area. His movements were particularly introspective. Soft words and snippets of melody were woven through intimate meanderings, lulling us into his world.
At a very youthful 45, William knows himself and his dance; he seems to savor every inch of movement in his body. He knows exactly where he wants to go without jumping ahead in his interpretation. William then lands softly in the centre of the parachute onto a small pool of rice. As he dipped his hands and torso into the rice, there were moments of more jagged movement, almost violent that revealed an internal intensity. With rice covering his back,we saw William breathing and moving from a place of deeper strength as well as vulnerability.
The piece ended simply and beautifully, without saying too much or too little and with just the right amount of tenderness.
Originally from Hong Kong, William Yong now lives and works out of Toronto. For this creation he was paired with Ted Robinson as dramaturge.
Meena Murugesan’s piece, SPLIT/FOCUS did just that, it split the theatre open with clear focused movement, her stunning eyes drawing us mysteriously into her sharp and precise movement poetry. The mastery of her movements were highlighted by the speed and intricate rhythms with which she executed them. She led us along an angular and powerfully feminine path. I got the sense that when she threw her gaze into the audience, she was really seeing. There was a fearlessness in Meena’s quick and effortless movements which seemed to be embodied from the bottom of her feet to the very tip of her carefully articulated fingers.
The energetic dance finally softens as Meena begins to sing a quiet melody over the last graceful passage across the front of the stage, fainting infinitely into the darkness.
From Los Angelas, Meena Murugesan combines both Bharata Natyam, a traditional Indian dance form, and contemporary dance in works that she has performed across North and South America. For SPLIT/FOCUS Meena worked with the renowned Janet O’Shea as choreographic consultant.
Tomomi Moromoto emerged as a luminous, white-haired creature appearing from the dark. A single hand exploded out of the beast and at once I knew this dancer would be good. I could feel her body almost vibrating with intensity. Even though the costume covered almost her entire frame, the movements were clear, complete and resounding. Tomomi’s strong and expressive legs articulated a marvelous beasty ballet. The long dreadlocks of the white body-wig accentuated every undulation and quick accent. A whole personality emerged on stage as the creature curiously explored her environment with moments of visceral delight as well as moments of pause and reflection; her range of expression was constantly surprising.
The creature dance culminated with the shedding of the body-wig in the centre of the stage. Tomomi slowly emerged as if being born from within the hairy creature. The now naked and vulnerable figure retreated into a corner. Tomomi revealed a face that equaled the incredible expressiveness of her body, moulding out an intricate visceral poem. As the lights faded I felt a strong empathetic resonance for the story she had just told.
Originally from Tokyo Japan, Tomomi has worked as a dancer and choreographer in Montreal since 2004. Drawing from traditional Japanese ghost stories for the creation of INHABITATION, Tomomi Moromoto worked with Elizabeth Langley as mentor and dramaturge.