Karoshi at the Scotiabank Dance Centre
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.