There’s nothing like a collective inhale heard in an audience at a live performance to move you to the core. That’s what happened when Natasha Poon Woo and Larkin Miller from Côté Danse took to the 360 degree stage at TOUCH — the new immersive dance work created by Guilluame Côté and multimedia artist Thomas Payette. It’s already receiving enthusiastic standing ovations over the first weekend of its engagement and we can understand why.
As Toronto’s arts and culture scene returns, TOUCH is a timely story full of emotions. IT speaks volumes without having to say a word. Throughout the pandemic we’ve lost physical contact with each other. Even if you’re not the huggie type, like me, it began to feel strange. In a time of uncertainty, we’ve been told to avoid anyone outside of our own home. We resorted nods and smiling with our eyes. We’ve fumbled and struggled in our own ways with how to get through this all while technology kept us connected…for better or worse.
Director and choreographer Guillaume Côté created this new innovative work for the gallery space at One Yonge Street. Focusing on the concept of TOUCH he wanted to explore what the human connection means and the message hits home especially during these challenging times. What unfolds is the couple’s relationship exploring how they feel about each other. The beauty and the friction felt between them is deeply felt in the 45 minute performance.
Dancers lead the audience’s gaze to every corner of the gallery while 360 degree multimedia projections fill the space. We learned that the projections reflect the dancers’ movement and dependent on their touch. Our swivelling chairs allow us to move in any direction and immerse us into the performance. The starry skies, celestial orbs and other projections dance around each audience. The score helps set the many moods at this stunning performance.
Don’t be surprised if you feel like moving too…and you can! Once the performance is done, the projections return so audience members can experience the wonders and move freely. Remember that feeling?
Lighthouse Immersive’s TOUCH will have performances through to November 7, 2021. With your admission price you’ll also have a chance to view Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Looking for the Dance photography exhibition. For more information and tickets visit the site here.
*Performances alternate between different dancers from Côté Danse.