Pick of the Day: Cock-Pit

I’m going to do a bit of time-shifting again, and offer up this performance by Wen Wei Dance as pick-of-the-day.

It actually runs at the Shumiatcher Room at Conexus Arts Centre April 27-28 at 8 p.m., but this being a Monday, pickings for something interesting to do are a little slim in Regina. Plus, if I give you an extra day’s notice, it’ll give you a better chance to check this out, because it promises to be pretty good.

Regina dance fans might remember this company from a production called Unbound that they presented here in 2007. I didn’t see it myself, unfortunately, but I did hear rave reviews from a few people I know who went.

Company head Wen Wei Wang was born in China, and as a youth studied ballet. So while his choreography is grounded firmly in contemporary dance, it also incorporates references to Classic Chinese and Western Ballet traditions.

The work they’re presenting tonight is called Cock-Pit. It features four male dancers and one female. As you can tell from the above photos, the men all sport elaborate rooster combs. I don’t think they have barbed wire spurs attached to their feet, but the implication of them being randy territorial rivals driven by a primitive flight-or-fight mechanism in pursuit, at some point presumably, of the lone female, is definitely there.

It will be interesting to see where Wang ends up situating the dancers on the human-animal continuum. Are they more human than animal? Or more animal than human? Some improv is involved in the piece, so it varies from night to night. But if I was the choreographer I’d favour the former dynamic. The latter, I suspect, where the dancers too fervently explored their inner chicken to the exclusion of their humanity, would prove tiresome over the course of a 70 minute performance.

But we shall see.

Author: Gregory Beatty

Greg Beatty is a crime-fighting shapeshifter who hatched from a mutagenic egg many decades ago. He likes sunny days, puppies and antique shoes. His favourite colour is not visible to your puny human eyes. He refuses to write a bio for this website and if that means Whitworth writes one for him, so be it.