Urgency and the lack thereof

Time has been a theme for me during this festival. Whether it is the brief interludes in Physical Therapy, or the much-longer fare offered in other programs, the choreographers this year seem haunted by it. This is particularly true in both Alberta Showcases. Lin Snelling and Michael Reinhart gave us ideas drop by drop, constantly looping back, reminding us of an earlier droplet. Memory is incessantly probed as the clock slowly and meditatively progresses. Methodically prancing and posing his way through humorous costume changes, Stephen Thompson takes us on a journey of the “here”, which can’t help but point us to the “now”. And then, Sasha Ivanochko, in a piece made for Helen Husak and Lori Duncan, offers a very real struggle with “Death”, a most pressing version of time. In general, none of the choreographers seem to be in a hurry to communicate; sometimes this brings discomfort and impatience – couldn’t they develop this faster? – and sometimes it allows the audience the head space to revel in the images. It does make this blogger wonder, however, why urgency was so absent? While Helen Husak seems ferociously insistent with her singing and/or with her sexual encounters with the “Young Woman”, I found myself wondering at the end of each evening if the lack of urgency is perhaps a stubborn response to the fast pace culture that surrounds us or whether it might be the impact of the unhurried Albertan prairies.