Wednesday, 14 April 2010

What Happened to March?

I can't believe it's already the middle of April! March flew by so quickly, that I am glad I had a chance to stop along the way and enjoy performances such as the one by Siberian baritone, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and soprano Sondra Radvanovsky (an American who now makes her home in Oakville). This power couple has amazing chemistry on stage: he so umbrous and dramatic in looks and voice and she so theatrical and captivating in her physical and vocal performance. If you happened to have the chance to see them perform at Montreal’s Place des Arts, Washington’s Kennedy Center, and New York’s Carnegie Hall then you know what I'm talking about. When he puts his hands on her in their duets, you can really feel the energy that is dispersed, even in these large venues. Radvanovsky especially shone in their selection from Eugene Onegin. I wasn’t so thrilled with Dmitri’s encore piece of O Solo Mio; as much as I love baritone’s I think this piece belongs to the tenors. If you don’t live anywhere near where these two may be performing together or separately, you can always check out their CD, Verdi Opera Scenes: Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Sondra Radvanovsky (Delos label).

Sometimes you hear music so often that you don’t really appreciate what it’s saying to you. Well, that’s what happens when I listen to any of the movements from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. It’s played often in commercials and movies, but it’s background noise; I hear it, but I’m not actively listening. Well, I had no problem listening to the women of Les Violons du Roy kick it with their individual interpretations of Vivaldi's work. Each of them rocked it out of the park! I wish I had brought a group of women with me so they could hear and see these women perform with such passion and love. There are times when I wish you could hoot and holler at Classical music performances, but the room just wouldn’t support me cheering at a chamber music the way I would at a hockey game. Maybe, next time, I will go with a busload of people so there is strength in numbers. Thank you Mooredale Concerts for bringing Les Violons du Roy to Toronto.

InDance has been around for 10 years, but my introduction to the Canadian dance company happened with their performance of BOX at the Fleck Dance Theatre. Lead by Artistic Director, Hari Krishnan the company transforms South Asian and Western movements into something that is fresh and modern. I especially enjoyed the piece UMA, the the last of three segments in BOX. UMA is about the South Indian tradition of stri-vesham (female impersonation) and was danced beautifully by Kali Chandrasegram—what amazingly strong and exquisite foot movements! Again, I wanted to do a hockey cheer, but restrained myself to clapping as loudly and for a long as possible.

Another stand out for me was the combination of dance and video in Purnima/Full Moon, a twenty-minute piece with 5 dancers, and 6 musicians. I could have done without the works, The Frog Princess and Bollywood Hopscotch: the first because it wasn’t needed in such a long dance program, and the latter because it did not meet my high expectations of what was supposed to be a “subversive take on retro-Bollywood”—I spent too much time looking at the classic movie footge instead of the club kids costumed dancers. Austin Diaz was a sparkling glass of champagne in his fishnet stocking performance in mea culpa. I enjoyed my first taste of InDance and look forward to seeing more of them in the future.

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