A collaboration of dumb instrument Dance, The Contingency Plan and Anne Cooper
we all know Jane

Dates and Venue 21 & 22 June 2013, 8pm | Scotiabank Dance Centre Theatre, 677 Davie St.

Choreography Ziyian Kwan, Anne Cooper, Vanessa Goodman Music Peggy Lee, Dylan Vanderschyff, Chang fang Supertramp, Orphx, Vladislav Delay and Murcof Lighting Design James Proudfoot

Reviewer John Jane

Entering the foyer of the Scotiabank Dance Centre this weekend to attend an all-female presentation of we all know Jane, one’s initial attention is drawn to an exposition of posters featuring iconic women: Jane Austen, Jane Goodall, Jane Russell, Jane Siberry, Jane Birkin, Jane Fonda are all there plus the fictitious “Jane of Lantern Hill.” Besides a common given name, these women are, to paraphrase Anne Cooper, creator of the self-performed central work Jane, “strangers to each of us, familiar to all of us.”

Part Dance, part theatre, the piece is loosely inspired by Lanford Wilson’s rarely performed play Burn This, were the protagonist learns independence and self-confidence as she pursues her passion for dance. Cooper’s evocative work has a linear narrative that is large on characterization, though light on structured dance syntax. Performed without a note of music being played until roughly half way through the piece, it then explodes to Supertramp’s “Breakfast in America.”

The dancer goes through a sequence of repetitive movements, interrupted by a parenthesis of sitting in a leather chair watching television and drinking wine.

The opening piece is the neck to fall, a loosely choreographed, esoteric work created by Ziyian Kwan that exalts in the freedom and capricious impulse of the female body. Kwan’s somatic choreography runs an entire gamut of technical difficulty sustained by a deliberately discordant soundscape contributed by local jazz musicians Peggy Lee and Dylan Vanderschyff.

The third offering, the long indoors is a more finely detailed choreography than the previous works. Two dancers, Ziyian Kwan Jane Osbourne, share roughly equal responsibility for the execution of the dance vocabulary, with each dancer relying on their own individual strengths. Both performers display sensuous physicality and each bring a distinctly aesthetic dimension to Vanessa Goodman’s work.

© 2013 John Jane