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Peggy Baker Dance Projects

    


Dance and Joni in Fiction fan Bob Muller provided us with the following review, which mentions a dance set to Amelia: May 12, 2004. 12:06 AM Sharing the stage with a mixed bag of dance works SUSAN WALKER DANCE WRITER Kate Alton does Peggy Baker and Peggy Baker does Sarah Chase in a truly mixed program, Unfold, at the Betty Oliphant Theatre until Sunday afternoon. Peggy Baker Dance Projects presents four vastly different works by three choreographers viewed from the theatre's backstage area. It's a toss-up as to whether seating the audience onstage facing the empty auditorium, only a few metres from the performers, achieves a useful intimacy with them or an uneasy proximity to them. Watching Kate Alton perform Baker's Unfold, a solo the choreographer created for herself in 2000, one is appreciative of the effort it takes to dance this detailed, tempestuous piece. As pianist Andrew Burashko moves from one grand piano to another to play Scriabin's Opus 11 Preludes, a little distance might have helped delineate the relationship between dancer and pianist, movement and music. Baker's choreography is so particular to her that it was like encountering a familiar suit of clothes on the friend of one's friend. Alton, similarly long-armed and wide-shouldered and possessed of Baker's condensed emotional energy, takes charge of the difficult solo. But it may take a few performances before she can make this piece - a gift to her and Andrea Nann through Baker's Choreographer's Trust - her own. While Unfold is all about disclosure and revelation, a way to master silence is just the opposite. A very short solo with no music was a peekaboo affair that Baker performed in partial light, so that only pieces of her moving body were illuminated. It's the ultimate solo: A secret, soundless dance viewed as if the watcher were a peeping tom. New York choreographer Doug Varone has had a long-running influence on Baker and the dances he has created for her always draw on her ability to create narratives. Heaven, with Burashko at the piano playing Cesar Franck's poignant Prelude, Fugue and Variation, is a duet between player and dancer. The pianist's delicate fingering is viewed up-close, a perfect counterpoint to the dancer's lightness of foot. Baker dances like a lover trying to find a way to get closer than flesh will allow to the loved one. Sarah Chase has created one of her dance stories for Baker, called The Disappearance of Right And Left. Like the portraits that Chase performed last week in her own show, this solo is crafted out of Baker's own life stories and is both spoken and danced. Her tales are fascinating: a Scottish ancestor loses his wife in childbirth; a grandmother loses two sons in World War I; the astounding birth of Baker's sister's baby boy. As she speaks, she turns over rectangles in a partitioned panorama of a prairie hay field. On the back of each piece is a family photo to illustrate her anecdotes. The stories gain little from Chase's choreography, which consist of a good deal of arm-waving moves that look too simple for Baker. In this case, Burashko subsides into the background as Baker dances to a recording of Joni Mitchell's "Amelia," and then accompanies her with a Beethoven sonata and a dance piece by Ginastera. Much as one might enjoy her storytelling, Baker's dancing is more eloquent than her speaking.

(Contributed by Bob Muller)

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Books (115 references)

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» Blackbird by Larry Duplechan
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Poetry (19)

» A Alejandra Pizarnik by Julio  Cortazar
» Bericht aan de reizigers by Ingmar Heytze
» For Joni by Kerry  Furber (Kezz)
» I Met A Woman In A Joni Mitchell Song by David Geary
» jammin' with joni by Terry 
» Joni Mitchell  by Joseph  Hutchinson
» Joni Mitchell Can Bite My Ass by Curtis Meyer
» Joni Mitchell, Coffee & the Rain by Carmina Gitana
» Learning the Hard Way by Jane McGuinness
» Libro de Manuel by Julio  Cortazar
» Lonely With Joni by Rebecca  Stang
» Pas de Deux from a Distance by Nora Maria Iancu
» Paved Paradise  by Heidi  Lerner
» Practical Water by Brenda Hillman
» Purr by James Servin
» Radical Sentimentality by James Sevin
» Somewhere in the Buddha Night by Lester Hirsh
» Upon hearing Joni Mitchell's Travelogue by Peter Tadd
» You Don't Know What You've Got . . . by Paula  Harris

Miscellaneous (75)

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» Big Yellow Taxi - New Hampshire
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» Cartoon in The New Yorker Magazine by Victoria  Roberts
» Celebrity Taboo - The Game Of Unspeakable Fun!
» CHUM-FM questionnaire
» Clean White Linen by Mark Aster
» Cloud Physics Course
» Coldwater Creek catalogue
» Desert Island Discs - Jack Vettriano
» Dirty Car Art
» Doonesbury by Gary  Trudeau
» Doonesbury by Gary  Trudeau
» Edie Falco in Watch! interview
» Esquire Magazine, July 2002 by Jeff Gordinier
» Extra-credit question for 5th grade students
» From a New Yorker article by Ian Frazier
» Graham Nash radio interview
» Guardian review of Partick McCabe book
» Hotel Isolabella OUR HOUSE Room - Trentino, Italy
» How Keith Richards Inspired Dr. Evil by Unknown 
» Jacksonville Transit Poster Art
» Joni mention on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Disk
» Joni mention on high rotation TV commercial
» Joni-inspired painting names by Jack Vettriano
» Ken Bruce's BBC radio show
» Lafayette Electronics & Larry
» Lorrie Moore in Reader's Digest interview
» Mermaid Café in Nantucket
» Metro interview with Adrian Edmondson
» Motorsport Journalism - Formula One Diary by Simon  Arron
» My prom date, the spy by Lisa Zeidner
» National Lampoon parody
» National Lampoon/Bernie's column
» New South Wales Higher School Certificate Exam  by Unknown 
» The Night Before Christmas by Bob Muller
» Night Ride Home by Lindsay Stamhuis
» NPR science show promo
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» Parade Magazine Article by Bruce  Feiler
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» Windy City Media Group online interview of writer Paul Lisicky
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