‘A new work by… Sasso is a reason to get up and dance…’ (Glenn Sumi, NOW)
Created and directed by one of Canadian dance’s foremost female voices, Julia Sasso’s SLoE pays tribute to the late iconic Canadian composer Ann Southam with a production that celebrates femaleness, women’s work and the feminine perspective in dance, music and design. Commissioned by Southam to embody her ‘immense, mysterious piano piece Simple Lines of Enquiry’ (Alex Ross, The New Yorker), Sasso’s SLoE delivers a robust and virtuosic physical response to the composer’s quietly emotional solo piano masterpiece.
Presented in association with Harbourfont Centre as part of the NextSteps 2012-13 performance series, Sasso’s highly anticipated full-length world premiere features six outstanding dance artists accompanied by the music’s ‘sparkling interpreter’ (John Terauds, The Toronto Star), pianist Eve Egoyan for who it was composed. The Enwave Theatre’s in-the-round seating and marvelous acoustics locates the audience inside the world of SLoE. Enhanced by Rebecca Picherack’s atmospheric lighting and Cheryl Lalonde’s elegant costumes and ‘floating’ set piece, Sasso’s SLoE literally envelops the audience in an eloquent, intimate and deeply compelling experience of sound, visual and movement imagery.
With SLoE, Sasso bucks the trend of aesthetic excess instead aiming to move the viewer by the quality and transformation of the body in motion. ‘I trust audiences to be receptive to this approach, to be curious about movement and music and to embrace the world and content of this work.’ Relying on the composition’s slow unraveling to evoke a magically suspended, weightless sound world Sasso’s intricately crafted choreography takes great physical and emotional risks in counterpoint to the music’s resonance and stillnesses. In collaboration with her richly diverse cast Sasso has employed the ‘crisp, muscular physical language for which she is noted’ (Paula Citron, The Globe and Mail), to create SLoE’s cascading ensemble sequences, intimate duets and powerfully striking solos.
Champions of one anothers’ work for many years, Southam and Sasso were artistic collaborators and personal friends. SLoE introduces new audiences to Southam’s music and to those already familiar with it, Sasso offers a fresh perspective on and unique experience of the composer’s remarkable musical universe. ‘… immense, glacial, hypnotic…’ (Alex Ross).
Choreography/Direction: Julia Sasso
Music: Simple Lines of Enquiry by Ann Southam
Lighting Design: Rebecca Picherack
Costumes/Set: Cheryl Lalonde
Production Stage Manager: Gillian Lewis
Featuring pianist Eve Egoyan and dancers Angela Blumberg, Irvin Chow, Jesse Dell, Vanessa Goodman, Susan Lee and Deanna Peters
Duration: 60 minutes