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12 March, 2005

Video captures from WDT's
public performance @
Notre Dame High School, Ottawa

At the outset, I have to say that this was one of the most engaging, energetic and professional Wildfire performances I've ever had the pleasure of attending. I also have to say that I'm not a professional dance critic, so you may hear me saying some pretty dumb stuff while I'm trying to describe how mind-blowingly excellent the performance was. Bear with me.

wildfire!

they set the audience ablaze from the get-go.

Wildfire describes itself as a "social and economic development project that uses the arts to explore issues and circumstances relevant to our world" (from their website). So their dances deal with things like abuse, war, AIDS, poverty, addiction - as well as spiritual concepts, like the unity of humankind, or the equality of men and women.

the 'domestic violence/abuse' dance.
you totally just wanted to punch the guy.

the 'equality of men and women' dance.
very graceful, full of beauty.

swing is in the air!

the 'extremes of wealth and poverty' dance.

all I can say is that this was the most hilarious
dance I've ever seen. I call it the 'typewriter
freakout' dance. it's danger-approved.

the drug dance.
a heart-rending classic.

the 'gang violence' dance.
the ending was less bleak than the
past few times I've seen it, but the
message was still well conveyed.

the 'war' dance.
a tale of sorrow from every woman
who's lost husband, father, or sons
due to war.

the 'mankind' dance.

an awesome latino dance!
this one was so happy you just
couldn't help but get into it.

an even more awesome chinese dance!
this guy was shaolin sammy or something.
talk about some phat energy, and the
thunderous music to go along with it.
KUNG FU KICK!

a really cool polynesian dance.
she was all wavy and everything.

a brazilian dance - brilliant steps, great rhythm
and the sticks are a nice touch.

All in all, this was a high-calibre performance. The dancers were full of energy, and really set the crowd on fire. not only that - they're good. The degree of mastery these youth have over their bodies is amazing. You had people flying all over the place, tearing up the stage, and not false-stepping once. The step-dances were solid and filled with crazy polyrhythmics that make your head split. The slower, more gracefully choreographed parts were fluid (like our 'wavy' friend) and well synchronized. The diversity of the dances was just right, fitting into a seamless whole unified by an all-pervading spirit of youth and dynamism. Two thumbs up from this reviewer!

Visit Wildfire's website.

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graphic design, photos and text 2004 dan jones