Back on Boogie Street

BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn Festival has brought Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal to the Prospect Park Bandshell and the performance was nothing short of perfection.

Inspired by the enigmatic work of Leonard Cohen, the company has conceived a new show entitled Dance Me, utilizing the discography and writings of the once Montreal-based poet, artist and songwriter.

Fourteen core members of the Ballets Jazz de Montreal ensemble bring the works to life under three internationally renowned choreographers, Adonis Foniadakis, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Ihsan Rustem. Their imaginative movements interpret the cycles of existence in five seasons, as described in Leonard Cohen’s enriching music and poetry.

Ballet Montreal Image 1

Approved by Leonard Cohen during his lifetime, Dance Me vividly portrays both joy and poignancy as it expresses the full range of human experience and emotion. The dancers are tight and fluid. A special touch is the vision of one dancer walking the perimeter of the stage in the ubiquitous black that Leonard Cohen favored as his uniform, overseeing the action as a very present ghostly specter just so the audience knows he’s still around in some form.

In tandem with the music, lyrics and recorded poetry are imaginative and entertaining visual effects conveyed through a variety of projections that provide a literal backdrop to the abstract choreography.

The company is currently taking the show on a global tour and will continue to pay tribute to Montreal’s greatest cultural ambassador.

But for the one night they were in Brooklyn, it was a magical, riveting and moving performance, complete with fireflies dancing about as the sun settled and the darkness enveloped the stage. I think Mr. Cohen would have been proud.

Special Note: Thank you to Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal for the title and inside images!