The power of dance

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Alvin Erasga Tolentino says we’re ready.  Martin Inthamoussu isn’t quite so sure.  Ready or not, Vancouver audiences are in for a groundbreaking new work as Vancouver’s Co.ERASGA and Montevideo’s Complot present the world premiere of EXpose in April.

EXposeDesigned to “explore and expose the complexity, vulnerability, acceptance and inspiration of being gay”, the multi-media dance production is, according to Tolentino, both risky and risqué.

“I think Vancouver audiences and the gay community have changed a lot over the years; they are definitely ready for a show like this,” said long time Vancouver choreographer Tolentino.

“I’m a little more worried”, added Inthamoussu. “I’m not sure how they will react but this will be a big part of the experience – seeing how an audience will respond.   We need to be ready for anything.”

Having met in 2005 while dancing in Venezuela, Tolentino and Inthamoussu have been looking for an excuse to work together ever since.  Fast forward four years to 2009 and the duo started work on EXpose.  Coming with similar experiences as gay men, contemporary dancers and having their own dance companies, the twosome was excited by the prospect of coming together in one place to explore, through dance, the issues of being gay in today’s world.

Exploring sexuality, gender and identity, Inthamoussu sees EXpose as a reflection of our times in exploring how people deal with gay issues set within an artistic landscape.

“We wanted to explore how you make art in an artistic way with the layer of a social factor,” Tolentino continued to explain.

“But it isn’t just focused on a gay audience,” interjected Inthamoussu.  “Audiences will be able to identify even if they are not gay.  It is about a human process.  Accepting and exploring yourself for who you are.”

“We looked at how we could express these ideas in a poetic way,” said Tolentino.  “Not that it will be obvious or literal, but to be more abstract so that it can reach beyond a gay audience.”

Not to say Inthamoussu and Tolentino are making any apologies about the content of the show.  After all, it is very much focused on their own experiences as gay men and calls on a number of icons within the gay community to help, including video clips from such classics as Some Like It Hot with Marilyn Monroe, Breakfast at Tiffanys with Audrey Hepburn and All About Eve with Bette Davis.

“Ten years ago we wouldn’t be doing the same show,” said Inthamoussu.  “It is about our times and how people deal with gay issues.  How we, as artists, deal with these issues in an artistic way.”

“The physical language is so universal,” concluded Tolentino.  “There is so much emotional context, energy and emotion that can be provided through dance.  That’s the power of dance.”

Scotiabank Dance Centre, 677 Davie Street, Vancouver
14 – 16 April 2011

A powerful new full-length duet exploring sexuality, gender and identity, EXpose brings together two exceptional male solo artists: Vancouver’s own Alvin Erasga Tolentino, Artistic Director of Co. ERASGA, whose sophisticated works have toured around the world; and Complot’s Martin Inthamoussú, a driving force in Uruguay’s contemporary dance scene, whose passionate works grapple with provocative socio-political ideas. These two charismatic performers seek to expose the complexity of the personal and public territories within the gay psyche, creating a spellbinding theatrical and physical dialogue featuring an original score by Marc Stewart, video production by Eric Miguel and lighting design by Phil Birkby.

Tickets are available online from Tickets Tonight or by calling 604 684 2787.

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