By Mary Brennan
In so many ways, the eight dancers in this Canadian company really put their hearts into Onde de choc (Shock Wave).
In terms of technique there’s a feast of (seemingly effortless) finesse as they account for choreographer Ginette Laurin’s dazzling switchback of movement styles, moods and pace.
Then there are the facial expressions and gestures that hint at how language that describes extremes of anguish and ecstasy often has the heart as a motif: heart-stopping, hand on heart, heartache – these, and more, flit in and out of Laurin’s thoughtful reflections on how the body’s physical machinery interconnects with our emotional states.
Cue the actual sounds of dancers’ heartbeats, amplified in real time and fed into a soundscore created by Michael Nyman’s gorgeously looping melodic phrases and Martin Messier’s clever juxtapositions of footfalls, pulses and thrummings.