Adapted from their previous version of this work, the 605 Collective have re-mounted Inheritor Album with some new cast members, allowing the work itself to symbolise the theme of inheritance and succession. I saw the previous version at the Dancing on the Edge Festival in 2012, and I was eager to see it again in its new form.
The choreography itself has not changed much, but the first thing I noticed when the collective took the stage was the absence of a few of their key members. I was disappointed to not see Shay Keubler, Justine Chambers and David Raymond, but it seems that the collective is growing and evolving just as this show did.
I’ve been a fan of the 605 Collective for a few years, and it is hard to think of dancers other than the original six cast members as being a part of it, but despite my initial apprehension, the performance was very impressive. I realized that the idea of the collective is to incorporate new members and to always be evolving.
Inheritor Album is an hour-long barrage of high energy dancing, fast-paced and bass-heavy electronic music, and beautiful animated film projections. The 605 Collective have a unique, athletic style. Some sections of the show were reminiscent of waves moving smoothly back and forth across the stage, slowly gaining momentum.
The 605 Collective have a unique, athletic style.
They were perfectly synchronised and their movements were so in tune with the music, creating a work infused with energy. Their unique fusion of urban and contemporary dance, pure rhythm, and stamina is what sets them apart from other contemporary dance groups.
The show began in low lighting with the dancers anxiously running across the stage, and then all six of them began frantically running in a circle, overtaking one another and propelling each other forward by pulling on another dancer. They were running on top of an animated circle resembling a vinyl record that was projected onto the stage.
There is a common theme running through the different sections of the show, as they all pulse to the beat and seem very aware of each other. The show is about the interpretation of inheritance and succession, and the dancers play with these ideas in various ways.
For example, one section of the show has the dancers standing in a line and, one by one, they are inspected as they are pass along and then tossed in a pile. The last one standing ends up with the other five dancers hanging off of him as he walks slowly, letting them fall one by one.
While most of the show was very fast paced and required a huge amount of endurance from the dancers, there were a couple of slower, more thoughtful sections, such as a solo by Laura Avery, which was a nice contrast to the constant energy of the group dances. There was also an exquisite group number that grew from small subtle movements and gradually became huge broad movements filling the entire stage. The 605 Collective’s ability to take a simple gesture and turn it into a grand sweeping movement is one of their greatest strengths.
Miwa Matreyek’s beautiful animations were projected onto the stage and backdrop to add an urban street vibe to the show, which complimented the strong beat of the music and the urban/contemporary dance style very well. As shadows of the pulsing group of dancers flashed onto the back wall and they walked off stage one by one, I was left with the feeling that the new members of this cast have inherited the spirit of the original members.
The Collective received an enthusiastic standing ovation, and I’m sure anyone in the theatre who saw them for the first time is now in agreement that they are one of the best contemporary dance groups in Vancouver.
Inheritor Album was presented as part of the Push International Performing Arts Festival from January 30 to February 2 at the Scotiabank Dance Centre. For more information, visit 605collective.com.