When and Where May 5 and 6, 2022 at 8pm | Vancouver Playhouse, 600 Hamilton St, Vancouver

Artistic Director Tina Finkelman Berkett Associate Artistic Director Guzman Rosado Choreography Baye & Asa, The One to Stay With; Matthew Neenan, A Million Voices; Micaela Taylor, SNAP; Alejandro Cerrudo, PACOPEPEPLUTO Music Russian Brass Band, Bela Bartok, Georgy Sviridov, The One to Stay With; Peggy Lee, A Million Voices; James Brown, SCHOCKE SNAP; Dean Martin, PACOPEPEPLUTO Lighting Michael Jarett, The One to Stay With; Burke Wilmore, A Million Voices, SNAP; Matthew Miller, PACOPEPEPLUTO Costumes Oana Botez, The One to Stay With; BODYTRAFFIC, A Million Voices; Kristina Garnett, SNAP

Reviewer Nancie Ottem

BODYTRAFFIC came on stage on Friday night at the Vancouver Playhouse with a bang. Performing four pieces throughout the evening, the Company wowed the audience with their incredible technical ability and the innovation of a choreographic style that alternated within each piece adding an extra layer to the overall effect.

Switching up the program The One to Stay With opened on Friday night throwing the audience into a Kafkaesque milieu which reflects the unsettled world of today. Then with A Million Voices the mood changed as Peggy Lee crooned from the sound speakers and the dancers emulating moves reminiscent of 1950’s musicals strutted their stuff. The high level of training of these dancers was so apparent in this routine with twitches of body moves built into the choreography that were carried out seemingly effortlessly. One got the feeling that they love what they do. SNAP started the program after intermission to James Brown’s music and a very upbeat routine. Intertwined into the routine with Brown’s sound was techno music by SCHOCKE. The jerky, mime/robotic like moves within the choreography were hypnotic to watch and required total precision from the dancers. Rounding out the evening was POCOPEPEPLUTO performed to the music of Dean Martin by three male dancers. Without props or obvious costumes the piece bares the movement in dance to a balletic essence. Each dancer performs a solo in a gymnastic expression of joy and physicality in dance.

With BODYTRAFFIC’S MIXED REPERTOIRE dance is celebrated with a somber and also a lighthearted voice. At one point in the evening a voice asked over the speaker system, “Is this all there is?” I’d say if this is all there is, it’s pretty damn good! With the audiences’ two standing ovations they agreed.

© 2022 Nancie Ottem
Photo credits Top: BODYTRAFFIC | Side: Tomasz-Rossa | Inset: Millie Elangbam