Fantastic dancing and captivating music, what more can one ask for? On the First Calgary Savings Stage 1, both Walsh and Hattori mesmerized us by their unique ways of moving, and the physical presence of musicians onstage added something completely different to each of their pieces. Watching Walsh, I was blown away by her pure and honest ability to connect to the music. It was as if the music was coming out of her as she danced—truly remarkable. This being said, the musicians on stage were not merely providing music to dance to; they were as much a part of the performance as Walsh herself. The musicians walked, spoke, and danced; at one point, Walsh sat and watched percussionist Raul Gomez Tabera, completely handing over the spotlight. Besides the brilliantly complex rhythms, emotions swept the stage. I was drawn in. In upon black earth, Walsh took us on a journey that went everywhere from tortured to joyous, from concentrated to possessed—Walsh explored all this and more.
Hattori’s performance was drastically different, but equally as engaging. His style is a curious mix of ballet and hip hop. The isolations of his body seem impossible, and he moves with incredible swiftness and speed. In SOLO? there was incredible clarity and precision in his movement, it was hard to believe much of it was improvised. The Dystopians provided the perfect soundscore for this. Playing with their synthesizers, computers and guitars, they provided a strong and consistent energy for Hattori to play with. And what about the balloons? Well, Hattori simply plays to our desire as humans to keep the balloons afloat.
So sit close and allow yourself to be drawn in.