Cherchez l’homme & the Arts Umbrella Dance Company in Vancouver

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Oscillating Echoes — Penelope Boyse — June 10 2018 at the Vancouver Playhouse — Photographs — Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

From 1957 to 1961 I was a boarder at St. Edward’s High School, a Catholic institution in Austin, Texas. The only woman on campus was a cook.

On the other side of Austin there was a Catholic high school for women called St. Mary’s. Every once in a while we would have sock hops in our gym and the St. Mary’s girls would come. Since I did not know how to dance I was much too shy to even be a wall flower.

The closest I ever got to women was from my post as an alto sax player in the school band. We were always next to the cheerleaders in school football and basketball games. The cheerleaders, all girls from St. Mary’s had the company of one boy, Lee Lytton III. We thought he was odd. Why would anybody want to be a cheerleader? Of course Lytton was really smart and we were all out to lunch!

I was thinking of Lee Lytton III when I was watching Penelope Boyse’s work Oscillating Echoes at this Sunday’s The Little Prince, Arts Umbrella Dance Recital at the Vancouver Playhouse.

For most of this handsome choreographed piece (with music that some of us recognize and call Diamond Music but actually named Palladio by Karl Jenkins) there was a single male dancer, Benjamin McLennan, aka Roger. I could not but see him as another smart Lytton-type who knows the advantages of being a single male in the Level 6/7 Afternoon Professional Training Program.

Lynne Sheppard, Zack Preece & Cordelia Pentland — 3 Wonders at the Arts Umbrella Dance Company

Originally published at



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