DJD mines earth’s elements for double bill

By Louis B. Hobson - Calgary Herald
2 min read | April 24, 2019

Decidedly Jazz Danceworks’ new show, Double Bill, is a marriage of fire and ice.

Montreal’s La Otra Orilla dance company is providing the chills with Magnetikae, a flamenco tale set on an ice floe while Calgary dancers of DJD will heat things up with Lovestruck.

DJD artistic director Kimberley Cooper says that when she saw La Otra Orilla’s Me and the Others which visited Calgary in 2016, she immediately contacted the company’s artistic director Myriam Allard.

“I had our dancers take classes from Myriam and told her the goal is for her and I to create a piece together. Double Bill is the first step toward that goal. We are at least sharing the stage with premieres from our two companies,” says Cooper of Double Bill, which runs in the DJD Centre at 111 12th Ave. S.E. until May 12.

Allard, who is performing in her new show, says flamenco dancing is famous for its fiery moves but that there is a cooler side to the famous dance and that is what she is exploring in Magnetikae. She and her company have been working on the show in Montreal on-and-off for almost a year.

“What Calgarians will see is a 40-minute premiere of a show I envision will be about 70 minutes when it is completed. This version will be truly unique because Magnetikae will never exist this way again.”

When Cooper learned Allard was working on a show about ice and snow, she wanted to contrast it with a show about heat.

“I started researching famous fires in Calgary and discovered that, in 1915, there was a fire that destroyed the Sherman Roller Rink just a few blocks away from where our studio is located today. I used this event as the jumping-off point for Lovestruck, which is a combination of myth, truth and the surreal. Because it is set in 1915, there is a vaudeville touch to it as well.

“I hope audiences will laugh out loud with Lovestruck. It’s a comic piece.”

Allard stresses both new shows are very accessible. They both feature live music and “a sense of magic.”

Cooper jokes there is actually a third show that takes place during the intermission.

“We need a very extensive set change between Magnetikae, which is the opening piece, and Lovestruck, which is performed after the intermission. What’s going on behind the curtain during intermission is a whole show of its own.”