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By Emma-Kate Millar

Ryerson Dances is an inaptly boring name for five dance performances presented at Ryerson on Nov. 23 to 27.

Some of Toronto’s most renowned choreographers created a performance that mixed modern, contemporary, and jazz dance. The show featured second, third and fourth-year dance students.

The opening piece was captivating with its intense and daring physicality. However, the audience could have been brought further into the piece – the dancers didn’t show deep enough a commitment to the choreography.

One highlight of the show was a series of duets choreographed by Kathleen Rea. The three short pieces offered an intimate and poignant view of the complex dynamics of three couples. The choreography challenged the performers to work in close relationships, both physically and emotionally.

Rea originally choreographed this piece for the Toronto Dance Theatre earlier this year and it was great to see the Ryerson dancers make it their own.

Jack Clark’s dramatic spoof of dancers and models had lip-synching, attitude, big hair and a touch of comedy, and ended with the girls stripping down to their undergarments.

It was like a Victoria’s Secret commercial meets the Rockettes. Technically, the dancers were excellent, which maintained the integrity of the satirical piece. The intricate group’s work in Andrea Nann’s new work had a fiery intensity, but dark costumes and dim lighting stifled the movement’s beauty. Vicky St. Denys’ piece had some lovely moments but lacked conviction. The dancers didn’t find their drive until the end of the piece, when they finished strongly.

Overall, the show was a lovely display of dance vignettes that appealed to members of the dance community as well as those experiencing dance for the first time.

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