Live Art Dance
30th season begins September 27 with Dévorer le Ciel, 8pm, Sir James Dunn Theatre, 6101 University Avenue
If you're interested in contemporary dance, theatre or performance art, then you should definitely check out choreographer Crystal Pite's contemporary twist on Shakespeare's The Tempest this fall, put on by Live Art Dance for their 30th anniversary season (8pm, October 4-6, Sir James Dunn Theatre). "Oh boy, don't miss this show," says Live Art Dance's executive producer Paul Caskey excitedly of Pike's The Tempest Replica. Pike "brings in these other worlds into her dance and pulls it off. She creates these incredibly detailed, stunning works." For The Tempest Replica, Vancouver-based dance company Kidd Pivot deliver a gripping, emotionally volatile and complex performance that consists of a series of surreal scenes: thunder sounds as a woman angrily shoves a paper boat into her mouth; dancers clothed in tight white garments twist like ghosts upon the stage, their facial features hidden by smooth, surreal white masks, some with eerie, spindly fingers and fins; and dancers' disembodied, contorted shadows dart across the background, creating yet another layer of life. But that's not all---contemporary dance lovers can also check out Quebec-based choreographer Danièle Desnoyers' Dévorer le Ciel (8pm, Sir James Dunn Theatre, September 27-29), featuring six dancers who traipse through a dazzling light show, taking inspiration from the stars and planets dotting the night sky. Marie Chouinard's Henri Michaux: Mouvements, inspired by the mescaline-fueled poetry and Indian-ink drawings of Belgian artist Henri Michaux, also promises to be an extraordinary experience. "It's a return to Marie's roots where dance was the driving factor in her work," explains Caskey. "We are privileged to have the Canadian premiere of her latest work." --Lizzy Hill
Raoul Bhaneja's Hamlet (Solo)
October 9-22, Neptune Studio Theatre, 1593 Argyle Street
Toronto-based actor Raoul Bhaneja's critically acclaimed one-man version of Shakespeare's Hamlet, Hamlet (Solo), comes to Neptune's Studio Theatre for a limited run. In 120 minutes, Bhaneja plays 17 different characters using Shakespeare's text to bring the story of the tragic Danish Prince's attempt to avenge his father's murder to exhilarating life.
The production was conceived by Bhaneja and his OBIE Award-winning director Robert Ross Parker in 2000 while both worked at Soulpepper Theatre. Since its debut in 2006 Hamlet (Solo) has played to rave reviews and sold out houses in Toronto, Off Broadway, London, Edmonton, Edinburgh, Montreal, Newfoundland and The Northwest Territories among others.
Bhaneja returns to Halifax after having played Laertes in Hamlet at Neptune in 2000 and a brief run of Hamlet (Solo) at the On the Waterfront Festival in 2007. He has also performed at Tarragon Theatre, The Stratford Festival (Canada) and Shakespeare's The Globe Theatre (London) among others and in various films and on television. Hamlet (Solo) has been praised for being able to clearly communicate Shakespeare's intricate language and giving an ancient story a fresh breath of life and a modern one-man twist. --Amanda Campbell
Fall for Flamenco
October 11-19, various locations
As the summer sun starts to slip through our fingers you might be craving a little heat. And while southern Spain is lovely this time of year, a ticket ain't cheap. Enter your knight in shining armour (and sexy shoes), the Fall for Flamenco Festival, which for seven years now has been bringing a taste of fiery Spanish culture to Halifax. This year's fest will engulf you in not only amazing live (and sometimes free) performances, but daily workshops for all levels of dancers interested in learning the traditional art of flamenco. The biggest name on the roster is Barcelona's David Romero, an award-winning dancer and household name in international flamenco circles who'll guide a series of workshops and treat us to the Canadian premiere of his solo show Unipersonal, a performance that promises to sweep you off your feet. --Allison Saunders
October 16-November 4, Neptune Theatre, 1593 Argyle Street
A lot of people missed out on Daniel MacIvor's sharp and sweet high-school reunion comedy Bingo! the first time. And since its brief run in 2011, the show has gone on to play in western and central Canada. Happily, there's another chance to catch it here, this time on Neptune's mainstage. Also happily, the fantastic original cast of Emmy Alcorn, John Beale, Marty Burt, Heather Rankin and Ryan Rogerson will remain intact. The five actors play a group of characters who come together 30 years post-high school to hash out old rivalries and romances. While writing the play, MacIvor set out to capture the sardonic, self-effacing, "delicious" flavour of east coast humour, and wondered if it would be well-received in other parts of Canada. Based on the many rave reviews it has received, Bingo! tickles funny bones across the board. --Kate Watson
October 18-November 4, $20, Park Place Theatre, Point Pleasant Park If last year's Dracula is anything to go on, Halifax is in for a spooky treat with Shakespeare by the Sea's production of Nevermore: The Hallowe'en Visions of Edgar Allen Poe. Director Jesse MacLean has a flare for staging suspenseful drama and for creatively adapting works to fit the tiny black box interior of the Park Place Theatre. Nevermore is a 90-minute show that will feature a variety of Poe's stories and poems including three of his most wel-known works: "The Raven", "The Cask of Amontillado" and "The Tell-Tale Heart." Poe's stories are the stuff that nightmares are made of, so prepare to have your blood run cold at this evening of Gothic horror. --KW
DaPoPo Theatre's Live-In
September 30-October 31 at The Living Room, 2353 Agricola Street, dapopolivein.blogspot.ca
For the fourth year, Halifax's DaPoPo Theatre is taking over The Living Room on Agricola Street for the month of October with The Live-In, offering a cornucopia of productions, play readings, workshops and other theatrical events at extremely affordable prices to Halifax audiences. This year DaPoPo's theme is Telling (Our) Stories, asking "How do we find stories, how do we shape them, and how do we share them?"
The Live-In's unique mixture of full-fledged productions, works in progress and workshops, most of which are offered by donation, create theatre in a cozy space that focuses on bringing artists and audiences together into a shared discussion and warm and friendly community. Some exciting things to look forward to in this year's Live-In include a visit from Chalmers Award winning playwright/actor/director Guillermo Verdecchia (Toronto) who will be reading his new play Galicia on October 19 and conducting a workshop "Embracing Your Inner Stereotype and Saying the Wrong Thing" on October 20-21. Multi-award winning Nova Scotian playwright-actor-director Daniel MacIvor and Halifax actor John Beale will read MacIvor's newest play Best Boy on October 1, which received favourable reviews when it premiered at the Stratford Festival this past season. Two Hours in a Madhouse: An Evening with the Notorious Nellie Bly, a new play by Gary L Blackwood, gets a full production October 5 and 6. This play tells the true story of a powerful woman at the turn of the century who, among other incredible adventures, checked herself into a mental asylum to write an undercover expose for the New York World. DaPoPo's own production, Making It, premieres October 25, and is also based on a mixture of true experiences and storytelling as it explores the struggles and experiences inherent in daring to make a living as artists in Nova Scotia. This is coupled with the return of The Drinking Game on October 20, in which members of the DaPoPo company ask one another personal questions in attempt to forge authentic relationships and delve into untapped realms of storytelling and memory, with the help of alcohol. The Live-In is both accessible and diverse, a must-see for theatre fans. --AC