A World Premiere by Lighthouse Immersive Space
Please note that I hold neither formal training nor education in dance, choreography, and movement. I will comment on the production’s theatricality.
Even though I have no formal background in dance and movement doesn’t hold me back from saying if a production is good.
‘Touch’ is more than just good.
‘Touch’ becomes a sensual, intimate, and electric connection of relationship between two sinewy artists who transfer that same kinetic life force of breath and energy to me as I watched this production, riveted to my seat. The show information I received stated: “TOUCH explores our experience of human contact during this moment in time when human touch has taken on complicated, sometimes frightening implications.” This part of the statement is true, but I also wanted to point out those tender moments of internal passion these marvelous dancers exuded were exquisitely intensified, not only through their seamless entwining bodies but also through their finely tuned breath control.
Director and Choreographer Guillaume Côté gorgeously stages and weaves the dancers in this live production through specifically stylized movement. What a wise decision and choice he and designer Thomas Payette made to utilize the possibilities of projecting mapping technology which makes all the images employed become movement generated and created by what the dancers did. It was fascinating to watch the shapes and the lighting cues of these immersive projections, absolutely fascinating. I did not want to take my eyes off the performers, not for one second. The programme stated there are two casts and I most certainly understand why as these marvelous theatrical choreographed moments of strength and stamina by Côté would require the artists to rest their bodies.
I’ve never seen any productions before in Gallery 2 at 1 Yonge Street. We have entered what appears to be a warehouse industrial space with three massive pillars in the middle. There was sand around the middle pillar. On entering the room, we were told that during the performance we were not to enter any part of the playing area lit in red. It is 360 degrees/theatre in the round setting with comfortable plush seating. The chairs swivelled which would allow us to view the performance from any angle we wished.
Antoine Bédard’s ethereal underscored preshow music set a tone of the unexpected for me. Simon Rossiter’s preshow lighting design fascinated me as certain corners and parts of the room caught my attention and I just wanted to look at the section and listen to Mr. Bedard’s music.
At the performance I saw, artists Carleen Zouboules and Evan Webb expertly remain in complete control all the time. Their beautifully timed movement through the audience and their finely tuned synchronicity with Mr. Payette’s projection designs presented a haunting and metaphysical relationship of two people who will always appear to be pre-destined to be together.
Final Thoughts: Coming out of a long eighteen-month theatrical pause, it is shows like ‘Touch’ that we need to see to re-charge our love and appreciation of the performing arts.
This ‘Touch’ radiates with alluring appeal to all senses.
Running Time: 45 minutes
‘Touch’ runs through to November 7, 2021, in the Lighthouse Artspace, 1 Yonge St (main entrance off Yonge just north of Queen’s Quay) For point of reference, it is the Toronto Star building.
For further information and/or to purchase tickets online, visit www.artbylighthouse.com.
TOUCH from Danse Côté in association with Lighthouse Immersive Artspace
A new work by Guillaume Côté and Thomas Payette
Cast 1: Evan Webb and Carleen Zouboules
Cast 2: Larkin Miller and Natasha Poon Woo
Producer: Etienne Lavigne, Anymotion Productions
Choreography and direction: Guillaume Côté
Original concept: Guillaume Côté and Thomas Payette/Mirari
Projections and multimedia design: Thomas Payette/Mirari
Original Score: Antoine Bédard
Lighting Designer: Simon Rossiter
Costume design: Krista Dowson
Stage Manager: Kellie Foley