Brian Webb on Betroffenheit, and other matters theatrical for the weekend

Betroffenheit. Photo by Michael Slobodian.

By Liz Nicholls,

Thoughts from Brian Webb, artistic director of the dance company that’s teamed up with the Citadel to bring Betroffenheit our way this weekend:

“Crystal is the cream!,” says Webb of Crystal Pite, the star Kidd Pivot choreographer who collaborated on the international dance/theatre hit Betroffenheit with Electric Company Theatre playwright/performer Jonathon Young. “She’s unquestionably in the top five, no the top three, in the world.”

“She’s so well read, so into art. And .. she knows how to put on a a show. Her work is so highly entertaining! Hot stuff!”

“She was an amazing dancer herself. And with this is her imagination, her own sense of what dance can be. It’s a strong vision!” Webb refers to the tag line of his own Brian Webb Dance Company, “without the dancing there ain’t no dance!”

Webb is full of admiration for the team of Pite and Young. He looks for an Edmonton equivalent of this kind of creative relationship. “Jonathan Christenson and Bretta Gerecke at Catalyst?” he proposes, thinking of the playwright/director and designer/scenographer who brought us such Catalyst musicals as Frankenstein and Nevermore. “Or (playwright) Stewart Lemoine and the Teatro La Quindicina ensemble?”

These relationships are crucial…. When art comes from the democratic exchange of ideas to make something good, it has to be of equals. And what these two (Pite and Young) come up with is new, exciting, and provocative!”

“Two Canadian choreographers have shaken the world of theatrical dance,” Webb thinks. One is Edouard Lock of La La La Human Steps. The other is Crystal Pite.”

Tonight’s the night! Your chance to see Pite’s collaboration with Young happens tonight through Sunday, three performances only at the Citadel, on this the last tour of the 2015 hit that’s scooped up awards wherever it’s been. You’ll see Webb at all three performances. Check out my interview with the playwright Jonathon Young.

Tickets: 780-425-1820,

With Glowing Hearts: A Canadian Burlesque Revue. Photo by db photographics.

•In other stage news, history-making epoque-changing Canadian women take to the stage, in a revival of With Glowing Hearts: A Canadian Burlesque Revue, tonight and Saturday at the vintage Capitol Theatre in Fort Edmonton Park. It’s the work of Edmonton’s intrepid, ever-inventive Send In The Girls troupe. And feminist stormtrooper Nellie McClung (aka Ellen Chorley) presides, in un-corseted fashion. Tickets:

•Just opened: Tiny Bear Jaws’ premiere production of Elena Belyea’s Cleave. Can an intersex hero make his way through the tangled world of pronouns and family dinners? It’s at Fringe Theatre Adventures headquarters, the ATB Financial Arts Barns, in the Backstage Theatre through April 11. review. Tickets: 780-409-1910,

City of Angels, MacEwan University. Photo supplied.

•Ending this weekend: City of Angels, the playfully noir Cy Coleman/ Larry Gelbart musical in which a writer is struggling to turn his detective novel into a movie — before our very eyes. Leigh Rivenbark’s production is onstage at MacEwan University’s Triffo Theatre through Saturday. Tickets: 780-497-4470,

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