As Ginette Laurin’s Passare begins, one of the women acts as if overcome by a fit of madness and needing to be restrained. As the show went on, that began to seem like a possible metaphor for the choreographer herself.
Ignore the pretentious nonsense in the programme notes and what you get is a mixture of dull or eccentric movement, silly chatter, and a man who makes commanding gestures, draws chalk signs on the floor, blows a whistle, asks banal questions, counts to 140 and makes marks on a small screen high up a step ladder. These last are projected, much enlarged, on to a big screen at the back, where they coincide with videos of what the cast are doing onstage. That, I realise, is one of the few moments when they actually dance around, but we are not meant to think about dance - rather “the essence of being” conveyed in a “cartography of intimacy”.
Four of the performers - Maurice Fraga, Marie-Eve Nadeau, Melanie Demers and Michelle Rhode - tell pointless anecdotes which, repeated, get muddled together. One woman strips off except for knickers and white wings, another puts on an animal’s head and one carries books on her head.
One of the other female dancers gets a classical solo, while the men mostly have little to do. The soundtrack includes the Jewish prayer for the dead and, as with so much else all evening, I am left wondering why.