Isolated Studies & Study For Anima/Darkroom | Review by Deanne Walsh

Fluid Festival’s presentation of Study of Anima/Darkroom by Lucy M. May with 7Starr (Montreal) and Isolated Studies by Hilary Maxwell and Josh Martin (Vancouver) provided an evening of compelling physical explorations. These performances were impeccable illustrations of isolation, command and discipline. Similar and yet equally distinct, both pieces are highly athletic, physically intense and offer an interesting glimpse to individual worlds. The physical embodiments of nuanced movement are unparalleled in the work. As collaborations with the performers, the choreographers here have crafted in the most delightful of ways what feels like experimentation and play, trial and error or “studies” as coined by both titles.

In Isolated Studies, Maxwell demonstrates a highly sophisticated capacity for patience, working the body in isolated and controlled patterns which at times gives her a near robotic authenticity. Use of repetition and physical theme is lustrous and engaging in this work. Enchanting and fierce, Maxwell takes her time allowing movement adventures to develop, inviting us so beguilingly to go on the journey with her.

7Starr’s performance was intensely captivating and brilliantly powerful. His intrinsic knowledge and depth of experience in Krump provides the backdrop for this glance into one man’s world. Study of Anima/Darkroom underlines significant key elements of the urban street style, bringing forward the profound communicative power within the form and its culture. Movements, sounds and sensations are broken down to their essence and featured in various contexts, commenting in unexpected ways on the role that Krump plays in street culture. A charming and charismatic performer, 7Starr takes us on a wild ride using humor, sheer physicality and raw emotion to captivate and enthrall us.

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Deanne Walsh was born and raised in Calgary Alberta, and completed her Bachelor of Arts Dance degree with distinction in 2003 from the University of Calgary. She performed as a full-time company dancer with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks from 2003 to 2011. For over two decades Deanne has been a dance educator throughout Alberta and across Canada. She has held a Sessional Instructor position for both the School of Creative and Performing Arts in Dance and the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary from 2011 to 2017. Her professional performance and choreography across Canada includes the IABD Conference DanceImmersion, BravoFact!, Toronto’s dance Immersion and Moncton, New Brunswick’s DansEncorps.

In Alberta, Deanne has appeared for nearly 20 years as an independent performer and choreographer for the Annual Alberta Dance Festival, F.E.A.T.S Festival, Springboard’s Front Lawn Dances and The Fluid Movement Arts Festival, University of Calgary’s Mainstage and Professional Series, Relocate: The Experiment #1, Cross Currents, Alberta Dance Theatre for Young People, MoMo Mixed Ability Dance Theatre, Dancers’ Studio West’s Artist In Residence and Dance Action Lab, Central Memorial High School’s Performing and Visual Arts Program, Dance and Drama Divisions.She has been a guest choreographer and instructor for the Decidedly Jazz Danceworks Company and Professional Training Program.

Her artistic research has taken her globally including West Africa, Cuba and throughout North America, contributing to her broad stylistic voice which encompasses Jazz, West African, Contemporary, and Dance Theatre. Deanne held the position of Artistic Director of Alberta Dance Theatre for Young People from 2013-2016 and was Artistic Associate for Dancers’ Studio West for the 2016 season. Deanne is a founding member of DSW’s Dance Action Group which since 2013 has been dedicated to the fulfillment of opportunities for dance community development.

Katherine Holm