Drama to get you through to summer

By Amanda Hu

As school winds down and exams and final papers hit the masses, it’s hard to get relief from all the stress floating around. The Calgary theatre and dance community has your answer, however, as they present various productions to entertain and inspire through the end of April and into May.

Dance hits the Grand as Theatre Junction presents Three Sixty Five by Wen Wei Dance. The project is an innovative move for Wen Wei Wang, inspired by Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.” Six dancers portray themes of life and death to Italian-Canadian composer Giorgio Magnanensi’s electronic score. You can check out the project until April 18.

Lunchbox Theatre takes on a new comedy by University of Calgary drama department head and critically-acclaimed playwright Clem Martini called The Invention of Music. Contrary to the title’s obvious leanings, the play tells the tale of four whales and their contemplation of life. The production runs until April 25.

Theatre Calgary caps off their 2008-09 season with Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, running April 14 to May 10. It is an adaptation of the film of the same name, telling the tale of womanizing con artist Lawrence Jameson. The story soon transforms into the fight between Jameson and fellow crookster Freddy Benson.

If you’re looking for another fix of innovative playwright Kevin Kerr’s work after Theatre Calgary’s run of Skydive, you can check out the latest collaboration between Alberta Theatre Projects and Electric Company Theatre. They present Studies in Motion: The Hauntings of Eadweard Muybridge running April 21 to May 9.

The play outlines the story of Muybridge’s life and photography work and how he influenced how films are made today.

The U of C dance department will celebrate their masters of fine arts graduating choreographers in Inside Out, the Urban Dance Project, on April 23 and 24. MFA candidate Jennifer Mahood presents two pieces that incorporate video and dance to explore dream worlds while fellow candidate Naomi Brand shows an intense choreographed sequence with four prominent Calgary dancers. The Urban Dance Project gives students the opportunity to work with the U of C’s downtown campus, where they get to program events.

Those in search of some more familiar theatrical territory can look no further than Vertigo Mystery Theatre’s production of Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure. The play revisits Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary character and his trials and tribulations against mystery and his evil enemy, Professor Moriarty. The show runs from April 25 to May 17.

Those willing to trek down to the Joyce Doolittle Theatre will be rewarded with Two Plays by Hannah Moscovitch, running April 29 to May 9. Essay and The Russian Play deal with gender politics, the achievements of prominent females in history and oppression that some women experienced throughout the years.

The Alberta Ballet will revisit the spicy tale of Spanish gypsy love in Carmen and Bolero from May 7-9. Rodion Shchedrin’s Carmen Suite will accompany the emotive choreography, all surrounded by the feeling of Seville through elaborate costuming and set arrangements.

So take a little time for yourself out of the exam craze before these companies’ seasons end and we’re only left with movies and bands for the summer.

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