Last week the National Art Centre hosted its fourth edition of Face 2 Face, a series that offers up-and-coming stars the opportunity to demonstrate their skill and talent in an intimate space. Hosted in the salon of the NAC and the ODD Box of the Ottawa Dance Directive, also known as the second floor of the Art’s Court, there is no room for ambiguity when I say we were Face 2 Face.
These contemporary dancers had a masterfulness in their craft and each used it to tell a compelling story that raised questions in the audience’s mind. Largely influenced and choreographed by the dancers themselves, each performance was incredibly unique, and this reflected in the honesty of their message. Of particular notice was the performance by Idan Sharabi and Dor Mamalia, entitled Ours, which explores the meaning, place, and significance of “home.”
…in that moment you could fully understand the intimacy of this piece and all it means to create a home with a significant other.
Beginning in an odd way, this piece left a feeling of peace in its wake. Both performers walked through the seats shaking hands with and sometimes hugging audience members, until the rambling voice of Idan Sharabi filled the room over the intercom, creating suspense and also curiosity. He spoke in circles, trying to make sense of particular ideas, but often leading into tangents and asking more questions than he answered. What struck me from the very beginning was its complete candor, which can sometimes feel far off in an interpretive dance performance, making the meaning hard to grasp for it’s audience. This piece did not feel unattainable, on the contrary it had moments that were truly funny that kept this emotional topic light hearted and relatable.
The two began mirroring each other’s movements and at times mocking each other. The voices over the intercom ebbed, replaced by Joni Mitchell’s beautiful voice singing California. The quick pace of this music and the chatter of Sharabi’s monologue encouraged a quick paced dance, beautifully accented with the dancers smiles and joy at their own creation. After a while of dancing around the idea of “home” an interview replaced the music, Sharabi interviewing Mamalia on the idea itself; this impacted the rest of their movement.
In one particular moment the two held each other close, placing hands on each other’s neck and letting out a breath that came with the comfort of being in your lover’s arms. Mamalia left a kiss on Sharabi’s neck before pulling away and in that moment you could fully understand the intimacy of this piece and all it means to create a home with a significant other. Following this the two faced each other and moved in slow motion, mimicking each other’s movement as if they were staring at their own reflection in a mirror. Touching hands, wrists, arms and chests; directly face to face they found each other connected, with the voice of Joni Mitchell celebrating their union in the background. The piece finished with a well deserved standing ovation.
For a list of upcoming NAC Dance events, click here.