Edmonton Journal: The Liminal (BWDC) dares to look for a unique spiritual rite in dance and music

Jun 10 2019

ADA is thrilled to see dance reported in the Edmonton Journal online. Not only is his piece about the BWDC 40th Anniversary, the show this week “The Liminal”, writer Roger Levesque has included accouncements about Ballet Edmonton’s next season! Let’s keep journalistic coverage of dance going, in Alberta!

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For two creative explorers, zoning in on the middle has never been so much fun.

Dance master Brian Webb and audio-visual synthesist Gary Joynes (aka Clinker) call it The Liminal. You might see it as a hard-to-explain ensemble multimedia show that will leave you feeling as if you’ve been somewhere. It’s bound to leave you thinking.

Liminal is derived from the Latin word for threshold, a hard-to-distinguish middle place between the beginning and the end in a religious rite of passage.

“In a literal sense, it’s neither here nor there,” offers Webb, “but in a spiritual sense it’s that point where one is being transformed from one state to another, so it’s also about those moments between life and death. It’s a loaded word and this is a heavy topic.”

Certain elements like the ensemble’s moves, their original spoken or sung text, or the underlying synthesizer soundscape are structured around specific themes, creating a backdrop for interactions over top. As Joynes explains, chance plays a key role.

“Exactly when they approach the microphones is largely improvised but it really evolves between storytelling, vocal tones, movement, and me manipulating the sounds.”

Singing and talking voices from Webb and four other actors or dancers are a fresh element with voices — all wired into Joynes’ console — that will be electronically manipulated live.

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