It was a tough gig for a dance critic at the Betty Oliphant Theatre last weekend. The Silhouettes Dance Company’s fourth annual performance, Bohème, was nearly flawless.

Dancers, choreographers, costume makers and technical staff poured their hearts and souls into every number, broadcasting the themes of freedom, beauty, truth and love. The performance was a fusion of dance forms spanning more than 30 individual numbers, which ranged from modern dance to tap, ballet to swing. Between numbers, a voiceover provided a narrative connecting the individual pieces.

The third scene, a contemporary piece with a jazz edge, was danced to Stabilo’s “Flawed Design” and set the tone for the entire performance, enchanting the audience with its innovative modern choreography. Other notable numbers in the first act included the beautiful “Choices Made,” which told the story of a love triangle through movement, “Think Pink,” featuring the flawlessly suave tap dancing of artistic co-director Lucas Castellani, and “Thrive,” a hip-hop number set to a Justin Timberlake medley.

The audience favourite, however, had to be “Elevator Man,” set to the song of the same name by local indie-rockers The Golden Dogs. Alex Schneider starred as an adorable elevator operator, surrounded by dancing workers and city dwellers, in this toe-tapping ensemble piece that kept the audience smiling all the way through intermission.

The Silhouettes opened the second act with a bang (of thunder) under a full moon, in a routine inspired by Michael Jackson’s zombie-pop epic “Thriller.” This gutsy and upbeat performance was followed by “Sheena,” a performance danced to the spoken poetry of Greg Carere. The silence, save for the reader and the tapping of the dancers’ shoes, made the scene unique and memorable.

DANCE review
The Silhouette Dance Company
Betty Oliphant Theatre
Rating VVVVv

Midway through the second act, the audience was treated to the jazzy moves of “For Once In My Life,” as well as “Swing Set,” a catchy 30s-style number performed by the duo of Schneider and Allie Hartwick. Artistic co-director Melissa Gervais and media coordinator Adriane Mostacho shone in the fluid, rock-inspired “Villains,” with music by 90s alt-rock dinosaurs The Verve Pipe.

The piece de resistance, however, was the final number, “El Tango De Roxanne,” with music taken from the equally epic Moulin Rouge. Sexy Latin dancing and an army of swirling red skirts dazzled the eyes and had the entire theatre clapping in time.

Last year’s collective was fantastic, but this year they have simply outdone themselves. With talent and choreography like this, the Silhouettes Dance Company only stands to get better with age.

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