If Wishes Were Horses, Bernard Would Be a Flamenco Dancer


Karen Bernard is middle-aged, plump, and in control of every facet of her dancing body. In Removed Exposure, light sometimes lifts her handsome face out of the darkness, as if painted by a Renaissance master. Were this Europe, she’d be a revered film star and sex symbol. Her solo confronts us with a body type we don’t expect from dance, but even more, it reveals an authentic person who, with luck, could be ourselves. Bernard gazes at her flesh in an antique mirror and follows her soul: She can be a pinup girl, a haughty flamenco dancer, anything. On opening night, discovering that a crucial prop had wedged too deep within her bra, she merely excused herself to find a replacement. Her honesty plus the intimate room equaled unforgettable theater. Montreal’s Nathalie Claude shared the bill, performing an amusing exorcism of sadness.

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