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The audience is the performance

The word dance might conjure up images of warm-up tights and tutus, but Ame Henderson is...

The word dance might conjure up images of warm-up tights and tutus, but Ame Henderson is hoping her creation brings a rock concert to mind.

Instead of appearing on stage, the Toronto dancers are part of the audience — and are even joined by people who are usually only able to sit back and watch the performance.

“I am not really interested in letting an audience participate in a physical way they may or may not feel comfortable doing; it is more about including them in what is happening,” said Henderson, who brings /Dance/Songs/ to the Bus Stop theatre later this week.

“We are all in the same room, but we just have different perspectives,” she said. “Everyone is necessary to make this thing happen and make the performance work.”

For a while, Henderson has been taking elements from other mediums and introducing them to dance through choreography. It was that interest — concerts in this case — which resulted in this show.

“I was really curious about understanding the structure of a concert and the relationship of musicians to what they are doing and their audience,” she said. “I see the concert as something that really relies on the presence of people listening to really happen in a way that is meaningful.”

Henderson worked with Montreal-based Eric Craven to create music for the piece. During the dance, the audience is free to get up from their seats, move around the room, and even leave for a few minutes.

“We’ve had people get up and go to the washroom in the middle of the show, which you would never really see in a dance show. But, people relate to this as a different kind of performance, so there is a permission to do that.”

dean.lisk@metronews.ca

 
 
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