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OFFTA: Seeing Dance Through a Dog’s Eyes?

If you’ve somehow not managed to get enough of a dance fix at the Festival TransAmériques yet, why not opt for a late-night dance cocktail at the multidisciplinary OFFTA, a refreshing, more underground mix of performance, theatre and dance that runs concurrently with the FTA?

Two years ago, when choreographer Maria Kefirova was in Europe, she became fascinated with the presence of dogs on stage and started asking herself questions such as: "what do dogs see," "what is real and what is fake" and "how do we create desire and curiosity?" Through her works, which often focus on the human body, Kefirova strives to engage the audience while exploring this body-mind reality. In a previous work, Side Effects, using her body and hundreds of walnuts, she questioned normalcy, and what is alive or dead.

Stage Doggy Dogs

In Why are dogs successful on stage?, a conceptual work for four dancers, Kefirova cleverly uses video (non-spoiler alert: I am not allowed to explain details, so you’ll have to see the show for yourself) to challenge the idea of imposing and destroying the performer-spectator wall.
"I’ve discovered that I am choreographing tension," says Kefirova of the motivation for the piece. "I want to create a space for imagination for the audience." When I ask Kefirova if there’ll be a dog in the show, she laughs and replies, "There’s an elephant!"

Private Sex Thoughts on the Side

Kefirova’s 30-minute piece is part of an eclectic triple bill of performance-dance-theatre works. Shifting gears to a more stripped down solo work, performance artist and saxophonist Adam Kinner shares seemingly private sex thoughts on stage. He questions authenticity, while a neon sign behind him blinks "I’m Faking It", which incidentally is the title of his one-man show.
Finally, capping off the night with Where the River got the Water Remix, dancer-choreographer Hanako Hoshimi-Caines collaborates with local songstress Katie Moore and drummer Matthew Woodley (Plants and Animals) to recount the story of a girl with no memory, through music and movement.

OFFTA
May 28-29 at 10 p.m. 
Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui