Rubberband’s Ever So Slightly brings bold contemporary dance back to the DanceHouse stage

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Ever So Slightly | Rubberband | DanceHouse | October 21 – 23 | Vancouver Playhouse

Rock music, blinding lights, coveralls, and momentous movement. There is nothing slight about Rubberband’s Ever So Slightly. The show marks a bold return to live performances at the Vancouver Playhouse and DanceHouse’s first live show since March 2020 when Rubberband’s visit was cancelled.

Live guitar and violin fill the space as ten dancers in coveralls begin moving slowly in soft lighting, rolling and cat stretching as if waking up in the morning. The musicians stand above the dancers on a raised platform stage left while a bright white surface cuts diagonally across the stage. Blinding bright lights shine directly at the audience as the dancers’ movements increase in intensity. The group comes together, moving with impressive momentum and precision as one unit, a cascade of energy moving through them.

In one particularly impressive scene, one dancer is raised up, evoking crowd surfing, before plunging back down head-first. Although executed seamlessly, the moment caused some in the audience to gasp. Once the coveralls come off, things get even more interesting as the dancers use them to swing and drag each other around, cover their heads with them, and fight to remove them once and for all — one dancer requires the support of the group as he struggles to break free.

Quijada’s backgrounds in breakdance, ballet and contemporary dance meld together in his choreography to create a unique style — both sharp and smooth. Original live music by long-time collaborator Jasper Gahunia is a critical part of the piece, with energetic guitar, looping electronic sounds, and violin by William Lamoureaux. There are times when the musicians and dancers seem in conversation with each other, sometimes the music supports the movement and sometimes vice versa.

A well-deserved, roaring standing ovation confirmed that Vancouver audiences are craving live dance, and this blend of rousing guitar riffs and exciting, emotive movement is just what we needed.

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