Karoshi at the Scotiabank Dance Centre

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When Shay Kuebler debuted an excerpt from his Karoshi at Dance in Vancouver last year, it was an instant hit. Now he’s fashioned it into a full-length piece that runs at the Scotiabank Dance Centre from Thursday to Saturday (December 6 to 8)—and we highly recommend it. Named for the phenomenon of “death by overwork”, it’s a physically pummelling piece inspired by Japan’s pressure-cooker office culture during the bubble economy of the 1980s. How that translates on-stage is via an explosively innovative mix of martial-arts movement, street dance, and references to everything from crammed subways to Japan’s so-called “anger booths”. The score is pulsating electro, set off by taiko drumming by Uzume Taiko’s Jason Overy. This is a show that dancers and nondancers alike will get, with filmlike touches and tons of dark humour.

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