Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, excerpt from Mugam Sayagi
March 18, 2009
National Ballet of Canada 2009 Erik Bruhn Competition
January 31, 2009
National Ballet of Canada (Charity Event - Rolex presents: A Chinese New Year - Toronto, Canada)
June 17, 2008
National Ballet of Canada
Not performed due to dancer injury
2007 Erik Bruhn Competition - Canadian Contemporary Entry
Paula Citron, Globe and Mail – "…Matthews has created a stunner… Matthews has managed to show off these two talented dancers to their best advantage. There is no waste in her choreography and every movement is filled with meaning." (More)
Anna–Kaisa Walker, Globe and Mail – "The most striking performance was the premiere of the abstract ballet veer." (More)
Paula Citron, The New Classical – "…She has created a stunner that requires suppleness, charisma and dramatic expression… The movement is deliciously snaky and sensual." (More)
Veer is a world premiere. Matthews originally choreographed the duet for Tina Pereira and Keiichi Hirano to be performed as a competition piece for the Erik Bruhn Prize in March, 2007. Hirano injured himself during that fateful evening and the piece had to be put on the back burner.
This gala is the first opportunity to trot it out and Matthews has created a stunner. A graduate of the National Ballet School, she became a star at Alberta Ballet. She is now a full-time choreographer with a growing international reputation and for good reason. Veer conveys all the suppleness, charisma and dramatic expression she radiated as a dancer.
Pereira and Hirano wear designer Caroline O'Brien's matching black leotard briefs. Lightingmeister Christopher Dennis has given the stage a dark and moody look to match Franghiz Ali-Zadeh's edgy, nervous music.
If the title is a signpost, Matthews has depicted a volatile relationship that has taken a sudden change of direction. The woman seems to be backing away, while the man is relentless in stating his dominance. Matthews manages to convey this through partnering filled with manipulation as Hirano orchestrates Pereira's physical positioning.
A constant throughline is Hirano offering his hand as an invitation or a command. Pereira always takes it to begin another sequence of what can only be described as wraparound lifts where her body is forced to encircle Hirano. The movement is snaky and sensual with huge extensions as Pereira's legs go to a 6 o'clock formation and Hirano performs deep lunges.
The abrupt climax is Pereira's complete collapse as Hirano holds her by her arms and she slumps to the floor. The dénouement is inevitable as Pereira succumbs to moving in complete harmony. Her veer, as it were, will have to wait for another day. Matthews has managed to show off these two talented dancers to their best advantage. There is no waste in her choreography and every movement is filled with meaning.
Balletomanes came out en masse for Mad Hot II, the National Ballet of Canada's second annual fundraising gala at the Four Seasons Centre. And the night lived up to its name, starting with the stunning one-hour performance by the company's top dancers, staging four exhilarating pieces that earned them rapturous applause.
The most striking performance was the world premiere of the abstract ballet veer, a dark, sensual and melancholy duet by up-and-coming choreographer Sabrina Matthews, who created it for the 2007 Erik Bruhn competition.
Modern dance aficionados such as director Atom Egoyan and his wife, actress Arsinée Khanjian, were thrilled, especially since some of the city's major showcases for the genre have disappeared.
"The dancers are incredible. They're up to any challenge," Ms. Khanjian raved.
Mad Hot II is the National Ballet of Canada´s popular annual gala that showcases the company´s own dancers. In her usual astute programming, Karen Kain put together an exciting evening for Mad Hot’s third incarnation.
The eye candy works included excerpts from Harold Lander’s Etudes and George Balanchine’s complete Rubies. The shorter show pieces were Sabrina Matthews’ veer and Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux.
veer is a world premiere that Matthews choreographed for Tina Pereira and Keichi Hirano. She has created a stunner that requires suppleness, charisma and dramatic expression. If the title is a signpost, Matthews has depicted a volatile relationship that has taken a sudden change of direction.
The woman seems to be backing away, while the man is relentless in stating his dominance. Matthews manages to convey this through partnering as Hirano orchestrates Pereira’s physical positioning, and what can only be described as wrap-around lifts where her body is forced to encircle his. The movement is deliciously snaky and sensual.