Culture & Entertainment

5 reasons to see Crystal Pite’s The Tempest Replica

By: Day Helesic
Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

5 reasons to see Crystal Pite’s The Tempest Replica

By: Day Helesic

Tempest Replica_Crystal Pite This week award-winning choreographer Crystal Pite brings The Tempest Replica to Toronto’s Canadian Stage. Pite’s company Kidd Pivot has been on a whirlwind international tour this spring with performances in Vancouver, London, Birmingham and Toronto (amongst other cities), and stops yet to come in Tulsa, Victoria and Quebec City. Created in 2011, reviewers have described the 80-minute performance as “magic on stage,” “hauntingly odd and original,” and “an artwork of astonishing beauty and thoughtfulness.” Here are five reasons to see the show, especially if you’re new to contemporary dance: 1. Crystal Pite is a Canadian dance artist Born in Terrace, BC, Pite was raised on the West Coast and danced for years at Vancouver’s Ballet BC. She then joined Ballett Frankfurt for several years (under choreographer William Forsyth) before founding Kidd Pivot back in Canada in 2002. She is regularly commissioned to create dance works for prestigious European companies and has been recently appointed Associate Artist at Sadler’s Wells, in London, England. That an artist of Pite’s calibre chooses to base her internationally renowned company in Vancouver, BC, is a boon to all Canadians. Supporting the work of great Canadians is a no-brainer—it’s a privilege to have such an artist in our midst. 2. It’s a new take on Shakespeare The Tempest Replica is inspired by The Tempest, Shakespeare’s masterpiece, which overflows with natural and supernatural turmoil. “The themes of Shakespeare’s The Tempest are resonant and beautiful,” writes Pite in her notes on the show. “A magician bent on revenge, ultimately decides to choose virtue over vengeance, relinquishing his power and ambition in order to find his humanity.” Anchored by the characters Prospero, Miranda, Ariel and Caliban, Pite’s interpretation of the play promises the expected themes of love, revenge and forgiveness, but also dives deep into ideas of captivity, isolation, and what is real versus what is imagined. 3. There will be amazing spectacle Crystal Pite is a genius at spectacle. The first half of The Tempest Replica is staged as a kind of living storyboard, where “replicas,” clothed and masked entirely in white, inventively illustrate the major plot points of the play against an integrated landscape of sound, text, visual and light elements. Later, the replicas transform into humans characters who physicalize the emotions, tensions and relationships of The Tempest through beautifully executed movement. Like Pite’s other choreographies there will no doubt be surprises, moments of great drama and captivating staging, all designed to take the audience on a memorable journey. 4. The dancing will be unbelievable Kidd Pivot’s dancers are a talented bunch. They are precise technicians, gifted improvisers and powerful interpreters of Pite’s movement vocabulary. Classical and contemporary styles blur in Pite’s hands, becoming something liquid, articulate and fierce, which lives in both the abstract and theatrical realms (sometimes within a single dance phrase). These are some of the most talented dancers out there—so if you love to watch skilled dancers dance, this evening will satisfy in leaps and bounds. 5. You will be moved Pite’s work is always witty, intelligent, well crafted and physically rigorous. But beyond that, the choreography also has serious emotional depth. Her duets, in particular, have the power to move one to tears. Prepare to feel something. Another idea, the act of creating, has also long held Pite’s attention. “Prospero’s relationship to his muse, Ariel, and his monster Caliban, is the relationship of any creator to his work, passion, obsession,” Pite writes. “The relationships between the civilized and the wild echo the tension between the conscious and the unconscious, the instinct and the intellect. The Island, like the mind, is a place of mystery, spirit and ego.” There is great energy and possibility in the conflict of opposites. Pite revels in exploring this territory—and the excitement it produces on stage is one of the reasons why so many flock to see her shows. The Tempest Replica opens May 7 at Toronto’s Canadian Stage and runs until May 11. Find tickets at canadianstage.com. Join the choreographer for a pre-show talk before the Friday performance. For The Tempest Replica trailer click  here. Photo by Jorg Baumann
Share X
Culture & Entertainment

5 reasons to see Crystal Pite’s The Tempest Replica

Login