Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre – Wintersong: dances for a sacred season

reviewed by Paula Citron

Wintersong: dances for a sacred season
Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre
Choreographed by Deborah Lundmark, Santee Smith, Kim Frank, Carol Anderson and Roberto Campanella
At the Fleck Dance Theatre

For 22 years, Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre has been mounting Wintersong: dances for a sacred season. The show came about when artistic directors Deborah Lundmark and Michael deConinck Smith wanted to get away from the commercial hype of Christmas. The couple interprets the title broadly. They are in a quest for works of spirituality, not works of religion.

This year’s repertoire covered a broad range indeed – Gaelic Samhain, Mohawk, Jewish Klezmer, and Christian. The new piece by Roberto Campanella, A Wintery Night, used Sting’s reflective music to portray a man’s bittersweet memories of things past. It was very sophisticated dance with sexual overtones.

This company of high schoolers has very accomplished dancers. In fact, each subsequent year seems to make them better artists. They can now dig deep down into their souls to be those itinerant Jewish gypsies in Kim Frank’s Doyne Suite, or find the heart of communion with nature in Santee Smith’s Kaha:wi excerpts.

In a word, Wintersong is impressive.