In July 2016, audiences attending the premiere of The Outliner at MascallDance’s space on Jervis Street in Vancouver’s West End enter a huge formal performance environment with large, suspended white canvases, inhabited by fantastical beings and unexpected events.
Fluttering fans among the audience punctuate the darkness in summer heat. Silent attendants wait in the shadows to sporadically roll platforms of seated audience into different viewing positions as the evening unfolds, redefining and heightening the space and the audience’s perspective.
Solo dancers emerge - each wearing architecturally devised garb that is part costume, part contraption. All are an extension of an idea of the body. A partnership emerges between dancer and garment, tracing lines and volumes previously undelineated in space, rendering the invisible visible.
“I’ve noticed that from the eighties onward, every once in a while I’ll want to do a dance with a contraption,” muses the work’s choreographer Jennifer Mascall. “By this I mean an object that expresses in material form, an idea we live and abide by in.....