Next week, DanceHouse, opens its 2019/20 season with the Canadian Premier of Spirit, October 25 & 26, at the Vancouver Playhouse.
Presented in partnership with Vancouver-based Indigenous dance company, Dancers of Damelahamid, Spirit is from Australia’s acclaimed Bangarra Dance Theatre, a leader in the celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance.
Choreographed by Bangarra’s Artistic Director Stephen Page and former Assistant Artistic Director Bernadette Walong-Sene, the retrospective piece is a fusion of nine of the company’s celebrated Indigenous and contemporary works that bridge past and present. Bangarra Dance Theatre has an authentic style of totemic storytelling reflecting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; tracing the unbroken connection between people, the land, and creation itself. Established in 1989, the cutting-edge company has played a critical role in the resurgence of traditional dance expressions.
“Through this urgently vital work that celebrates ceremony and tradition, Bangarra Dance Theatre is helping to define identity within a modern global culture,” says Jim Smith, Artistic and Executive Director of DanceHouse. “Since Canada is the ancestral home of a diverse range of cultures and traditions, this performance is especially resonant. Spirit demonstrates the immense power of art to break down geographical barriers, sparking important dialogue on the preservation of the ceremonial rituals and storytelling forged by cultures over millennia.”
The atmospheric score for Spirit was composed by the late David Page, Bangarra’s long-time music director and prolific composer, and Steve Francis, an award-winning composer for film, television, theatre, and dance. A celebration of the sacredness of ritual from dawn’s first light to the setting sun, the lush score’s heady foundation is punctuated by the earthly rhythms and natural vibrations found within cultural customs, including a pulsing drumbeat, droning didgeridoo, and dynamic vocalizations.
DanceHouse, presents the Canadian Premier of Spirit, October 25 & 26, 2019 at 8pm at the Vancouver Playhouse, showtimes and tickets available online at dancehouse.ca