the meeting of 6 strangers in a park, tango and acrobatics meet contemporary dance
2006 / 60 minutes
“With hairpin precision and brilliant comic timing, the dancers perform death-defying leaps and intricate, sensuous movements with lithe grace and intelligence.“
Kim Cogill, Saturday Free Press, 1997
Benches explores the intense relationship between 6 strangers that meet in a park and the full range of contrasts in the human condition.
3 men and 3 women sit, stand, lift, fall off, jump on and over benches or seesaws. Inspired by Edward Albee’s play Zoo Story, this powerful acrobatic piece retains the play’s tragic sense of isolation and search for intimacy.
Roger Sinha’s creation explores contrasts such as conformity, mediocrity and non-involvement with uniqueness and startling action. The specially constructed set pieces also house spotlights and function as seesaws that the performers surf and use to tap out rhythms…The dancers, whether doing hand stands or being thrown off balance by the catapulting action of the benches, execute every movement with tremendous grace and style.
After a first duo version in 1989 with André Dansereau, Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers commissioned a well-received sextet in 1997. The premiere with Sinha Danse was at the Agora de la danse in September 2006 and stayed 2 weeks and came back in 2010 at Montreal’s Palais des Congrès with a new cast.
About the creator
Roger Sinha was born in England to an Armenian mother and an Indian father. Roger grew up in Canada where he graduated from the Toronto Dance Theatre, drawing inspiration from his cultural background to develop his unique language of movement and personal choreography. He draws his vocabulary from contemporary dance, martial arts, ballet with subtle hints of Barata-Natyam, Indian dance. “Sinha is a creative powerhouse whose onstage presence is as generous as it is captivating”- Voir, 1995. See full biography
Choreography Roger Sinha, in collaboration with the dancers
Rehearsal Director Sophie Michaud
Dancers (2007) Tom Casey, Sophie Lavigne, Benoît Leduc, Julie Marcil, Roger Sinha, Neelanthi Vadivel
(2010) Xavier Malo, Greg Selinger, Hughes Sarra-Bournet, Micael Morissette, Louliko Shibao, Marie-Ève Lafontaine
Text Roger Sinha and dancers
Composers Dino Giancola and Charmaine Leblanc (1997)
Lighting Hugh Conacher
Set design (Benches) Ateliers de création Alain Cadieux,
Concept Roger Sinha,
Construction Jean-François Beaudouin
Benches surfaces Sylvain Ménard (Acrobatech)
Costumes Roger Sinha and dancers
Dressmaker Anne-Marie Veevaeta