Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rotterdam Dance Troupe Opens Dutch Festival Strongly

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rotterdam Dance Troupe Opens Dutch Festival Strongly

Article excerpt

Who would have thought that the land of canals and wooden shoes would connect so perfectly with the city known for its bridges and steel? Yet, for a short time on Saturday night at the Byham Theater, they all came together in an explosion of pop culture, accentuated by a gaggle of Andy Warhol wannabes.

It was the official opening of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Distinctively Dutch Festival, which was given a touch of glamour in opening remarks by Trust president and CEO Kevin McMahon and Dutch ambassador Renee Jones-Bos.

Dance Works Rotterdam/Andre Gingras was given the nod to lead off things with "Anatomica," a celebration of the body in no uncertain terms. Mr. Gingras has only been indulging in dance-making for a little more than a decade.

But his success has been quick, with commissions from Netherlands Dans Theatre and famed theatrical producer Robert Wilson and his appointment as DWR artistic director in 2010.

Some of his work was raw dance meat, thrown in your face, like masturbation and peekaboo body exposure found in the beginning segment of "Anatomica." It was both daring and daredevil, with gymnastic feats.

Occasionally it could be unfiltered and incessant, which may have pushed a few audience buttons. But before "Anatomica" became too relentless, Mr. Gingras had the wherewithal and intelligence to temper it, taking the opening chorus line of nine dancers, chanting and whooping, and funneling it down into a brilliant theatrical solo focusing on "you," then tapering it off to a slow-motion kiss.

Part 1 also featured an online chat sequence, which could be uncomfortable, a tribal dance and mating rituals. …

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