High production values and a welcome injection of wry humor helped make Dancework’s 30th presentation of performance art and new dance one of the organization’s most watchable to date. The four-part program, which closed last night at Harbourfront’s Brigantine Room, was not as esthetically challenging as some of its predecessors in the series but had its own rather whimsical, at times surreal, charm. It also offered strong performances from a number of the city’s more accomplished artists.

Paul Ravitz billed her contribution, Sight Unseen, as “an improvisational work.” It looked neither more nor less impromptu than a great deal of the new choreography we see noadays. Its point, if it had one, never came clearly into focus, despite all the hard work of its dancers – Denise Fujiwara, Susan McKenzie and Claudia Moore. It was eaiser to become preoccupied with the work’s non-choreographic elements – with Eric Cadesky’s live percussion accompaniement and the cleverly transforming costumes by Hanayo.

Miriam Adam’s The National had much to commend it. Laboring against an audience which seemed determined not to be amused by its clever writing and visual humor, this performance work offered a valid satirical look at the CBC news-entertainment show but in the end, foundered heavily. It is hard to parody television when the real thing does the same job so well for itself.

The Tanya Mars, Odette Oliver and Johanna Householder collaboration, Nine Lives, took the Danceworks 30 prize for most curious propos – cans of whipped topping and cat food, pistols and rifles, a huge one-ton weight (of course, it dropped on someone’s head in true Monty Python style), yards of elastic ribbon and more.

A pathetically trusting Mars had all her nine feline lives taken by a treacherous Householder. Probably there was a moral to it all. It was also rather funny. casino francais en ligne