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Choc treatment

O Vertigo's Onde de choc (Shockwave) is a testament to the body's endurance

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Live Art Dance brings Montreal dance company O Vertigo's Onde de choc (Shockwave)—directed by Ginette Laurin—to Halifax (December 1-3, Sir James Dunn Theatre, 6101 University. 8pm, $17/$20/$25) this week, and Halifax's own Gillian Seaward-Boone will bring her first professional Halifax performance with it.

"I was ecstatic when they told me we were touring to Halifax," says Seaward-Boone. "I've been dancing in Montreal for nearly a decade now and I've wanted to perform back home for years. I have so many friends and family that have never seen me perform professionally so I am obviously excited to have them in the audience. Describing what I do for a living can be pretty complicated to someone who is not familiar with contemporary dance. It's much easier just to show them."

Onde de choc—created in 2010 in O Vertigo’s home studio in Montreal—was born out of artistic director Ginette Laurin’s desire to create show exploring the human body and its relationship to movement and music. Seaward-Boone describes the performance as “a testament to the body’s endurance.” “Ginette wanted to create movement that would push our bodies and our heart rates to the limit and would force human emotions out into the open,” she says.

“We explored very literal concepts during improvisation like breath and heartbeat, focusing on how the heart pushes waves of blood through our bodies,” says Seaward-Boone. The dancers themselves will be creating a soundscape with microphones placed inside stethoscopes, amplifying their heartbeats. “We have a soundboard and light box that are connected both to each other and to our movement. When we dance on the sound box, the light box responds accordingly. And the sound we generate on the box transforms to create the soundtrack of the piece. The whole idea is that our bodies can create huge waves of emotions and sensory information we attempt to embody through movement, sound and light.”

Seaward-Boone thinks that while it is a challenging performance, the show has something for everyone. "Its a fast-paced piece that provides moments to catch your breath before it cranks up again. I think any audience can appreciate seeing a group of dancers push themselves to their physical limits, whether you are a seasoned supporter of dance or watching your first show. Ginette always creates beautiful images in her work and this piece is, above all, visually stunning. The sound, the lights, the dance....it all comes together to create a visceral experience for the audience."

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