Sep 17

Contemporary Dance Explores Intruiging Images

by Jenna Shummoogum · 0 comments

In mathematics, two quantities are in the golden ratio (or the golden mean) if the ratio of the sum of the quantities to the larger quantity is equal to the ratio of the larger quantity to the smaller one. Got that?
Then we apply that to art. Anything that is created within the golden ratio is most aesthetically pleasing. Or perfection within artistic creativity.

The Golden Mean (Live) is a dance performance presented by Theatre Junction Grand. It marks the return of Companie Marie Chouinard to Calgary’s stage, with new work.
The performance opens to a vastly white stage with two dancers covered in golden fabric and they emerge as if through birth under spotlight. When all of the dancers join them, it is evident that they all look the same in appearance. Spiky blonde hair, pale skin, and pale masks that hide distinguishing facial characteristics.

As the performance progresses, it becomes apparent that we are watching creatures who hold characteristics of human beings but are not human. The audience is exposed to their growth and blossoming, their bizarre habits and sometimes animal like movements. Then they don Stephen Harper masks. Wait, what?
It’s odd, jarring and borderline satirical. There is an army of Stephen Harpers before you, looking strikingly like bobble heads. The audience is unsure as to whether they can laugh or not.

The progression of these creatures is inter spliced with segments where the dancers wear masks. There is an interesting section where the dancers move two dancers together, almost like they are an exhibit and these two dancers spend five minutes sucking on their own fingers or toes, or each others. It is clear that this is a phase of development for these creatures. Then the dancers wear masks of elderly women and the viewer is struck with the bizarre image of an adult body with an elderly face. The same holds true, when much later the dancers assume baby masks and appear naked.

All of these images are interesting. The segments and characters are intriguing, along with the sentences they say (it’s a mathematical equation; Do you speak American?).  The stage is set up so that the dancers can move up the centre, among the audience. There are video screens around the stage that show the dancers when they are in the centre and it creates an interesting perspective.

The Golden Mean (Live) sets up many interesting and contrasting images, old and young, happy and sad, dominant and subordinate. The production doesn’t go beyond the setup of those images. The image of our head of state  is there because it is a jarring image. The striking images don’t delve into the depth beyond the shock of presenting them.

The Golden Mean (Live) has its final presentation tonight. Tickets can be found online.

Photo Credit: Sylvie-Ann Paré

Related Posts

Previous post:

Next post: