lights camera sound actions | time-based contemporary art

Song For A Blue Moon press

La Presse Montreal, 19 septembre 2004
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

DANCE

A World short of peace

STEPHANIE BRODY
SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT

Protest dance with a social and political flavour is on tap this week at L’Espace Tangente during an evening performance entitled Dances for Peace. The Torontonian Elizabeth Chitty [sic], a radiant fifty-something and Montrealer Julie Boileau, twentyish and full of charm, share between themselves this very poetic evening despite the gravity of the subjects they take on.

Elizabeth Chitty calls herself a “performance art survivor”. A pioneer of the genre in Toronto during the seventies, her long association with this very detached and cerebral artform gave her a thirst for reconnecting with her body and her emotions. That being said, in Songs for a Blue Moon, Chitty dances little. It is the images, the lighting, and the sound of Chitty’s voice that move, bathing her in richly coloured textures, and carrying the audience to the very heart of troublespots the choreography is aiming to sensitize them to. The effect is successful.

Chitty, in this way, stands in her thousand texture virtual reality. Swept along in a sort of perpetual motion, she travels the floor repeatedly on a mantra-like path. With her soft voice she chants songs and poems-the Burnt Church conflict, the defiant bravery of Burmese activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, the Tibetan monks who sacrifice themselves in peaceful protest. The seriousness of the words, images backing them up, clash in a soft chiaroscuro of sight and sound. And herein lies the total effectiveness of this show: the spectator, once hypnotized and soothed, is then able to pay attention, listen and gather one’s thoughts.

translation: David Carmichael

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