DanceWorks first presented Holly Small’s Cheap Sunglasses in 1981. Composer Robert W. Stevenson took a line from a Z Z Top song as his point of departure and commissioned choreographer Holly Small to create an accompanying solo dance. Responding to the rhythmic challenge of Stevenson’s score, Small explored the singular movement style of an earlier pop idol, Elvis Presley, to devise unpredictable twisting turns and punchy grace.
Originally danced by Small with vocalists Stevenson, Michael J. Baker, Miguel Frasconi and Andrew Timar, this brand new version will feature a gender reversal, with dazzling newcomer Evan Winther dancing Small’s choreography and four superb female vocalists, Jocelyn Barth, Mingjia Chen, Bea Labikova and Laura Swankey, performing Stevenson’s vocal score.
Here are some photographs of the original performance in 1981 and from a recent rehearsal at Dovercourt House in Toronto.
Cheap Sunglasses is part of DanceWorks 40th Anniversary show running November 16 – 18, 2017 at the Harbourfront Centre Theatre.
Tickets are available online or by calling the Harbourfront Centre Box Office at 416.973.4000.