Come to the dark side

By Karoline Czerski

Nightmares consuming your dreams? Dark visions taunting your psyche? You’re not alone. Decidedly Jazz Danceworks’ new live-music production, Velvet, delves into the realm of the subconscious, the mystery of dreams and the darkness of nightmares in a show that shakes the usual, linear structure of performance.

“This show will be non-linear in the way that a dream is,” says company co-founder Hannah Stilwell, who has collaborated with resident choreographer Kimberley Cooper to produce the show.

Velvet throws the audience into the cauldron of abandonment, swirling from New Orleans, the heart of jazz at the turn of the nineteenth century, to the present and the future in a bizarre and unrestrained wave of intensity.

“We want the audiences to leave their expectations at home, coming only armed with the desire to see something quite different,” says Stilwell.

The production is an intimate experience for the nine experienced dancers, who are asked to step outside of themselves, to explore the dark side, and push the limits. Velvet intends to shake the company to its jazz core.

Don’t run away from the dark side. Revel instead in the nightmares of the only Canadian dance company with jazz music and dance as its central theme, in an impressive performance that most can only create in their dreams.

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