Are we spectators or accomplices in extreme situations? Montreal choreographer Alexandra “Spicey” Landé poses this question in her most recent work, La Probabilité du Néant. The Dance Centre will present the Ebnflōh production at Scotiabank Dance Centre from December 7 to 9, followed by artist talkbacks.
Landé founded the hip-hip-inspired Ebnflōh in 2015. And she remains its artistic director. Her 2019 piece, In-Word, captured Le Prix Révélation at Les Prix de la Dance de Montréal. In addition, le Conseil des arts de Montréal selected In-Word as a finalist for its prestigious grand prize.
Meanwhile, Landé’s newer work, La Probabilité du Néant, is translated into English as The Probability of Nothingness. It features eight dancers and creative collaborators: Nindy Banks, Ja James ‘Jigsaw’ Britton Johnson, Jaleesa ‘Tealeaf’ Coligny, Kosi Eze, James-Lee ‘Kiddi’ Joseph, Christina ‘Hurricane Tina’ Paquette, Alexandre ‘Bibiman’ Philippe-Beaudoin, and Elie-Anne ‘Rawss’ Ross.
According to the Dance Centre, La Probabilité du Néant is part of Landé’s “ongoing examination of the human psyche, and in particular the ‘bystander effect’.” The choreographer has described the production as “a tribute to our will to unite, in the power of what brings us together and the curiosity of what sets us apart”.
Watch the trailer for La Probabilité du Néant.
Reducing bystander effect through awareness
The bystander effect describes the reluctance of many individuals to intervene in an emergency while in the presence of others. This includes in incidents of assault and bullying. Conversely, bystanders will be more likely to intervene in the absence of witnesses, according to Psychology Today.
“The social and behavioral paralysis described by the bystander effect can be reduced with awareness and, in some cases, explicit training,” the publication states on its website. “Secondary schools and college campuses encourage students to speak up when witnessing an act of bullying or a potential assault.”
The world became far more aware of the bystander effect following the 1964 murder of bartender Kitty Genovese in New York City. The crime occurred outside her apartment at 2:30 a.m.
Two weeks later, the New York Times reported that 38 witnesses saw or heard the attack and did nothing. However, that report has since been debunked.
The Dance Centre will present La Probabilité du Néant at 8 p.m. on December 7, 8, and 9 at Scotiabank Dance Centre. For tickets or more information about the show, visit the Dance Centre website. Follow Pancouver on Twitter @PancouverMedia and on Instagram @PancouverMedia.