Blind Date

On Saturday July 30 at 7pm, Human Landscape Dance and dance artist Susan Cook, in collaboration with dance expert Karen Bradley, presented Blind Date, an evening of contemporary dance at DANSpace-on-Grafton, 1531 Grafton St, Hallifax NS. This event was preceded by a workshop for movers and shakers of all kinds from 10am-1pm. Participants in the workshop performed in the evening concert in an improvised score developed by Malcolm Shute

Read Artistic Director Malcolm Shute's reflections on the Blind Date concert/workshop.

Alexander Short and Amanda Abrams in Odysseus Comes Home

Cook, a graduate of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, professional dancer, certified Stott Pilates & Gyrokinesis teacher, and a passionate student of Capoeira, will improvise a duet with Shute as a part of the concert. Both are interested in how such differently-trained dancers, from two different parts of the continent, moving together for the first time, will find common or perhaps, uncommon ground.

In Blind Date, Human Landscape Dance features the human side of two Greek myths: Icarus and The Odyssey. Our Icarus, played by the stunning Amanda Abrams, climbs upon, leaps onto, or rolls over the shoulders and backs of Daedalus, played by 3 performers. It is a story about parents and children and the weight of family relationships. In "Odysseus Comes Home," Penelope and Odysseus spend their first night together, after his 20-year odyssey, fighting over the sheet. The story depicts relearning to love someone over the years.

News Release:
Susan Cook has physicality that belies her fragile appearance, and intensity in her dancing that brings gasps from audiences.  Malcolm Shute flies around the stage, long, thick dark hair arcing through the space, with an ease and lightness that underscores his swarthy, pirate-like appearance. Read the full release here!

Icarus and Daedalus
Our dance "Icarus and Daedalus" explores this myth with special attention to the sometimes strained relationships of parents and children.The dance is a series of swoops and swings. Abrams dives from one set of arms to another, clambers up on our backs, kicks away--only to be caught by a new body before she falls. There is a terrestrial quality to her flight: Abrams depends on the rest of the company to hold her up. Read more about this dance.

Mary Szegda, Alexander Short, Amanda Abrams, and Malcolm Shute in Icarus

Odysseus Comes Home:
"Odysseus Comes Home" depicts Odysseus and Penelope's first night together after his 20-year voyage. This is less a story of sexual compatibility, than of sleep compatibility. Sharing a bed is an act of love, but also a practical matter. Difficulties arise when one partner likes to sleep without a blanket, but the other always sleeps with one; when one partner snores; if there is a dip in the bed so that one partner is always squished; when one partner can't sleep, but doesn't want to disturb the other; etc. It takes time to work through such matters, as in so many areas of marriage. Read more about this dance.

Relationships in our dances:
Human Landscape Dance's work has always concerned human relationships. With that in mind, Greek myths are a natural draw. Each depict powerful relationships: Odysseus and his wife and son, Icarus and his father. They are stories about human emotions, set in superhuman situations. They depict that which we cling to when our worlds have gone mad--each other. View this news release.


Families learning the ropes in our dances:
Human Landscape Dance's 2011 premieres, "Icarus and Daedalus" and "Odysseus Comes Home," depict families learning the ropes. "Odysseus Comes Home" speaks to couples everywhere who have to learn or relearn how to live together. It takes place in a bedroom; the sheet is their weapon. They yank it away from each other, stretch it out in a tug-of-war, create a wall with it. View this news release.


Human Landscape Dance is a contemporary dance company based in Washington DC. Our work is about relationships. We make dances that explore ways that people connect, disconnect, make nice, be cruel, make love, or make space for themselves. Touch is our medium. Bodies mold together in unexpected ways: a leg stretched across a shoulder, a thumb pressing under a chin, or two bodies so entwined that one covers the other completely. The human dance of love, hate, parting, and supporting are played out in different degrees of touch.Founded in 2006, Human Landscape Dance has since performed in cities along the east coast of the US, and in London UK.