Montreal based Choreographer Sasha Kleinplatz’s Chorus II will be performed at the LSPU Hall on Friday, October 7th as part of the Festival of New Dance.

Sahsa Kleinplatz is a founder of Wants & Needs Danse, a company in Montreal that aims to make contemporary dance more accessible to the general public. One way they make dance more approachable is by presenting it in non-traditional venues. Wants & Needs Danse created Piss In The Pool, a series where contemporary dance is performed in an emptied indoor pool.

The company also hosts Short & Sweet, a performance series that showcases 3 minutes of work by 25 different dancers in one night, as a way of giving audiences a taste of the diverse landscape of contemporary dance.

Kleinplatz had been working with only women for almost four years when she decided she wanted to choreograph a piece that explores masculinity and movement. Drawing on a childhood memory of seeing her grandfather swaying as he recited the Sabbath prayers, she created Chorus II.

In the spirit of innovation that defines Wants & Needs Danse, this Friday’s performance of Chorus II will be full of experimentation. The remount will play with the themes and the use of music in the piece.

This production of Chorus II will re-investigate the representation of masculinity in the piece. The show was originally created for seven men but Friday’s production will include two women.

Kleinplatz is frustrated that dance presenters, audiences, and performers often talk about men and women’s bodies differently.

“Anybody’s dancing body is so personal that to break it down into gender is simplistic, that’s what I was interested in looking at in this remount,” Kleinnplatz said about the decision to include women in this performance of Chorus II.

The implication being that a skilled dancer does not have to be a particular gender to say something meaningful about masculinity through movement.

This performance will also be unique because it will be the first time Kleinplatz has shown work in a new city and invited a musician from the area to be part of the piece. Local musician, Chris Donnelly will meet Kleinplatz’s team on the day of the show and will do percussion for Chorus II that night.

Building on the mission of Wants & Needs Danse to help contemporary dance reach wider audiences, Kleinplatz is interested in finding ways that touring dance shows can have a richer relationship with their audiences.

She is excited for Donnelly to join the show because it will give the performance a deeper connection to St. John’s.

“When we tour a dance piece we can do more than show up and leave. We can actually come into the community and know the community better by including somebody from it,” Kleinplatz said.