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For the uninitiated to dance, Short&Sweet is the perfect showcase of bite-sized choreography

It’s lucky number seven for Short&Sweet, a kind of contemporary dance show and tell, capped with a tick-tick-tick limit of three minutes to flaunt your stuff before a timekeeper cuts off lights and music. Co-founders Sasha Kleinplatz and Andrew Tay of Wants&Needs danse originally launched the series at Club Lambi in 2008 as a way to introduce contemporary dance to newbies in a non-intimidating setting, while giving choreographers a venue to try out ideas in a casual, party-like atmosphere. For this seventh edition, 25 choreographers and their collaborators share their diverse experimentations.

Dana Michel // Photo by Celia Spenard-Ko

Short&Sweet has been anything but. Now in its seventh round, why do you think the concept has had such staying power for both artists and spectators?
S.K.: A lot of people really like that a lot of people in the dance community are in the same room and just hanging out, connecting and talking.

A.T.:  Another thing people like is that they’re close to each other at Sala. It encourages a dialogue and you can talk to the stranger next to you. Also, the audience likes it because if they hate a piece, it’s over! Then, the next one starts and they don’t have to sit through something awful for the next hour.

S.K.: If you’re not sampling dance all the time, just like if you’re not seeing music shows all the time, if you take a chance on the show and you don’t like it: 
a) you feel like you’re stuck there, and... 
b) it really affects how you look at that kind of art. [With Short&Sweet], you get to see a lot of things and most people come away with something they like.


The Choreographers // Photo by Celia Spenard-Ko

For this time around, it’s called the “collaborative edition”. What does that mean, because aren’t people collaborating already?
A.T.: We wanted to encourage people to collaborate with people they would not normally work with.

S.K.: It’s like an artist blind date. They get to try out a collaboration with someone they might not have wanted to take a chance on if they were doing an hour-long work. Because it’s only three minutes, it allows them to try something with someone without pressure.


Short&Sweet 7 Collaborative Edition
Thursday Feb 16 | Sala Rossa 4848 St. Laurent | Doors at 9:30 pm | $10 wantsandneeds.ca