A new immersive dance work for two dancers created for Gallery 2 of the Lighthouse Arts Space by dancer/choreographer Guillaume Côté, with the artists of Côté Danse, in collaboration with Thomas Payette of Hub Studio.
Fusing projections with live dance, TOUCH is an interactive performance, creating a dialogue between audience, performers and multimedia within this 360-projection space. The aim of TOUCH is to explore the relationship between two people and their various states of interaction.
With the help of projection mapping technology TOUCH expands the emotions of the characters into the airy space and creates an immersive world that parallels their inner states while enhancing the experience through imagery and interaction.
The main characters on the night I attended TOUCH were portrayed by Carleen Zouboules and Evan Webb. They alternate with Natasha Poon Woo and Larkin Miller. The duos portray the lovers who first meet fall in love, fight, split up, and reconcile again. All aspects of a relationship we can understand without words.
Côté’s choreography is intricate, sensual, challenging and powerful. Payettes’ projections and multimedia design add an extra sensory level to the entire experience. Antoine Bédard’s original score adds layers of instrumental sounds mixed with interesting versions of classcial music pieces, including Purcell’s lament from Dido And Aeneas.
Dance, visuals and music all come together quite nicely to guide us in this exploration of the experience of human contact during a time when human touch has taken somewhat complicated and complex meaning.
By experiencing the visceral intimacy of physical contact through the various emotional states, we relate to the ups and downs the characters are going through. This is an experience in the round, meaning we are witnessing and engaging with the art and artists through the entire duration of the performance. I did not realize how much I have been missing this type of art perfomance in the past year and a half.
Personally, I enjoyed the second half (so to speak) of this 45-minute performance better than the first. The emotional state changed at that point for me and my guest, and we were both more engaged with the characters and the whole experience more attentively. Regardless, we both enjoyed TOUCH and were left in awe of Zouboules and Webb’s artistry in motion. Their artistry, technique and physicality was superb.
TOUCH is for those of you who are open to experiencing new feelings while also letting go of everything else from the day. It is the perfect length and a nice option for an evening out with family, friends or lovers.
TOUCH is performed for limited-capacity audiences and is following all COVID-19 protocols applicable to the city of Toronto. For more information and tickets, please visit lighthouseimmersive.com/touch.