Fundraising for Elles


Dear friends,

I am right now in Vancouver working on a new production titled: Elles. Involved are Erin Drumheller, Linnea Swan, Valerie Calam, Ali Robson, Alison Denham, Darcy McMurray, Susan Elliott and Carolyn Woods. The dancers are coming from Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Winnipeg, the purpose being to create a work with their different accents of dance.

CBC - Bennathan choreographs dance inspired by manga

Manga, the Japanese comic book style characterized by wide-eyed characters and action-packed, epic storylines, has now become an inspiration for dance.

French-born choreographer Serge Bennathan, formerly artistic director of Toronto's Dancemakers, has created a dance for two called Manga that opens in Vancouver Thursday.

Dancers Susie Burpee and Linnea Swan will try to capture the sense of story-telling and continuous movement found in manga in their 60-minute duet.

Vancouver Province Article - Manga Turns Graphic Novels Into Dance

Movement is not the first thing that comes to mind to most of us when considering the Japanese graphic novel form known as manga. Wide-eyed, open-mouthed children going "ooooooRating 5 ," certainly. But the kind of powerful physical motion found in dance? Not so much. Les Productions Figlio's ( Serge Bennathan sees things differently.

He titled his latest work Manga in homage to the continuous movement of the complex plotlines of the form, while expressing the concrete stillness of the comic book.

"I wanted to explore the continuity and forwardness of the manga form in the sense of a dance piece," says Bennathan. "In manga, the characters are always moving forward in the story, instead of the more common treatment of a series of flashbacks.

"Even when they are still, there is movement in the text and it is a great challenge and release for me as a choreographer to try to invent a way to deliver that in dance."

It's a challenge that dancers Susie Burpee and Linnea Swan will be taking up as the duo in the show. Their moves need to be everything from nearly invisible to highly explosive to propel the audience along on what Bennathan envisions as "both a reflection upon dance, the art form, and manga, the global storytelling phenomenon."

Manga - The Georgia Straight


With their wide-eyed, button-nosed characters, trippy plot devices, and exclamation-ridden dialogue, Japanese comics aren’t for everyone. Still, the genre—called manga—has been embraced by lowbrow and highbrow artists alike. With Vancouver Opera publicizing its productions in manga form, it comes as no surprise that a local dance company has jumped on the bandwagon.


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