Dance House opens the season with Spirit.

Next week, DanceHouse, opens its 2019/20 season with the Canadian Premier of  Spirit, October 25 & 26, at the Vancouver Playhouse. 

Bangarra Dance Theatre

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.

Bangarra Dance Theatre
photo: Edward Mulvihill

“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

Spooky Action comes to Firehall Arts Centre

Vancouver-based choreographer Lesley Telford brings Spooky Action, her interdisciplinary dance project, to Firehall Arts Centre October 16th to 19th. 

Company of Spooky Action photo: David Cooper

Though appropriately titled for Halloween season, Spooky Action is actually inspired by Einstein’s theory referring to particles that are so closely linked, they share the same existence, yet they could be an entire universe apart. He called the phenomenon, “spooky action at a distance.” 

A collaboration with poet/performer Barbara Adler, this interdisciplinary work weaves together visual art, contemporary dance, poetry and original music, extending the provocative theory to human connections, exploring the mysterious ways we act on each other’s lives.

Spooky Action: Lucas Wilson-Bilbro & Eden Solomon photo: David Cooper

Firehall Arts Centre Artistic Producer Donna Spencer is thrilled to host the piece. “Firehall has been privileged to program the work of many of Vancouver’s most exciting contemporary choreographers,” she says.  “Each season when I program our dance presentations, I am looking for work that explores new ideas and challenges “status quo” themes often seen in contemporary dance. Lesley’s Inverso Dance work has a history of doing that. For Spooky Action, she has chosen very talented and accomplished creators to realize her concept and her choreography.”

The work is a combination of spoken word, group movement and duets for five dancers, as well as text performed live by Adler, portraying how we influence and affect each other in both conscious and unconscious ways. The narrative of the movement shows how we are all connected on a particle level that works magic in our everyday lives. An alumna of Nederlands Dans Theater and Madrid’s Compañía Nacional de Danza, Vancouver-born Lesley Telford’s choreography is gaining acclaim, as she tackles deep issues like quantum physics and presents them in ways that are relevant, effective, and enjoyable.  Spooky Action was first developed and premiered during an artist residency at the Scotiabank Dance Centre in 2017.

Spooky Action runs for four performances at Firehall Arts Centre from Wednesday, October 16 to Saturday, October 19, 2019.  Tickets and more information available online at firehallartscentre.ca

The Dance Centre presents Sons of Sissy

Sons of Sissy

The Dance Centre presents the penultimate show in the 2018-19 Global Dance Connections series, Simon Mayer’s Sons of Sissy, April 4th to 8th.  The Austrian choreographer has created a deconstruction of traditional folk dances and music of the Alps, as well as masculine stereotypes. Four virtuosic male performers deploy their bodies, voices and instruments with skill, stamina and impeccable timing. The choreography breaks down Austrian dances and music to set the dancers free from convention and masculine stereotypes. Part weird folk music quartet, part experimentally playful ritual dance combo, the Sons of Sissy present a funny and touching take on their heritage and their masculinity. This creation by Simon Mayer, an Austrian performer, musician, and one of Europe’s most exciting and original young choreographers, premiered in 2015, and continues to tour internationally: this performance at The Dance Centre in Vancouver will be the Canadian premiere.

Simon Mayer’s Sons of Sissy plays at The Dance Centre, 677 Davie Street, from April 4 to 8, 2019, with an artists talk-back on April 5th.
For details and ticket information visit thedancecentre.ca
Note: the performance includes nudity.

DanceHouse opens with Borderline

Borderline: Kompanie Wang Ramirez
photo: Frank Szafinski

DanceHouse is launching their 2018/19 season with the Canadian premiere of France’s Company Wang Ramirez work, Borderline, playing October 26 and 27, 2018 at 8pm at the Vancouver Playhouse. 

Performed to layered rhythms and spoken word by percussionist, composer LACRYMOBOY (Jean-Philippe Barrios), along with choreographic duo Sébastien Ramirez and Honji Wang combining hip hop and contemporary dance with the movement of martial arts in exploration of democracy, immigration, manipulation, and the place of individuals in society.

“Coinciding with escalating nationalist rhetoric and contentious debates on immigration worldwide, Borderline’s open-ended examination of diasporic identity is more relevant than ever,” says Jim Smith, Artistic and Executive Director of DanceHouse. “As Canada is largely a country of immigrants, local audiences will resonate with the work’s illumination of the beauty and the challenges inherent in embodying more than one culture — honouring multiple traditions and languages, while forging a new blended identity of one’s own. Company Wang Ramirez has created a theatrical experience that will linger long after the curtain falls, and stimulate essential discourse about the future of democracy.”

Dancehouse Borderline
photo: Agethe Poupeney

Choreographed in 2013, Borderline consists of several thoughts, ideas, and moments that question the meaning of democracy. Wang and Ramirez are joined on stage by fellow dancers Louis Becker, Johanna Faye, and Saïdo Lehlouh, along with aerial rigger Alister Mazzotti. The five dancers, attached to cables perform a series of 11 intimate vignettes, with the rigger acting in concert with and against the dancers.

DanceHouse presents Company Wang Ramirez: Borderline, October 26 & 27, 2018 at 8pm, at the Vancouver Playhouse, 600 Hamilton Street. A pre-show talk with Borderline artists takes place at 7:15 each evening.

For tickets and further information about Borderline, visit dancehouse.ca

 

Dancing on the Edge 30th Anniversary opens July 5, 2018

Canada’s longest running festival of contemporary dance, Dancing on the Edge Festival is coming to Vancouver venues July 5 -14, 2018.

Celebrating its 30th Anniversary, Dancing on the Edge Festival’s longevity serves as a powerful reminder of the contributions of dance, to our past and future of the Arts in the community. Building on its 30 years of history the30th annual Dancing on the Edge Festival will bring dance in all shapes and forms to Vancouver audiences.

Festival Founder and Producer Donna Spencer announced that this year’s DOTE showcases over thirty performances involving more than twenty innovative companies and choreographers. Artists from across Canada, from Belgium and South Korea will take to stages and streets during the ten-day festival, performing in full length and mixed bill programs, as well as site-specific works.

Highlights of this year’s lineup include performances by visiting companies including;
Montreal’s Paul-André Fortier/Fortier Danse-Création
Belgium’s Liz Kinoshita,
South Korea’s Dab Dance Company
Montreal’s Lara Kramer Danse

MascallDance

BC choreographers are well represented too, performing a mix of new works and audience favourites include; Wen Wei Dance, Company 605, Lesley Telford/Inverso Productions, Co.ERASGA/Kasandra Lea, Kokoro Dance, Mascall Dance, Noam Gagnon/Vision Impure, and many more performances for the 30th anniversary. 

Outdoor site-specific work includes;

Gail Lotenberg of LINK Dance Foundation’s choreography Crosswalk Hustle, a new installation in “The Intersections Series” where pedestrians and vehicle traffic meet in a choreographed routine (performances at Davie & Bute and Commercial Drive &1st Ave),

Dances for a Small Stages Summer Series brings four short works to Granville Island ranging from tap to hip hop, from contemporary to flamenco.

Dancing on the Edge Festival kicks up its heels with a opening 30th Anniversary Party by-donation, community celebration on July 5th at Firehall Arts Centre.

For a full line-up and schedule of events, plus ticket information visit dancingontheedge.org

Dance House & Toronto Dance Theatre Celebrate Anniversaries

Toronto Dance Theatre

This weekend Vancouver’s Dance House welcomes cross-county compatriots Toronto Dance Theatre to the Vancouver Playhouse.  As Dance House celebrates their 10th anniversary, Toronto Dance Theatre celebrates their 50th with House Mix, a retrospective of the works by Artistic Director and Choreographer Christopher House.

Dance House has a goal to connect Vancouver with the world of dance, including the best of what’s right here in our country. 50 years is a feat for any organization, let alone an arts group, to celebrate, Toronto Dance Theatre assembled a collection of pieces from the last 3 decades to showcase the diversity in their company’s performances and artists. Their 90 minute showcase included;

Martingales – first performed November 2014 in Toronto
An energetic piece filled with rapid movements and playful rhythms.

Fjeld (excerpt) – first performed March 1990 in Toronto
A sculptural work inspired by the films of Ingmar Berman & Renaissance art.

Thirteen – first performed November 2017 in Bogota, Columbia
Revisiting an early Christopher House work from 1983, with the movements repurposed with a new score.

Echo Dark – first performed November 2015 in Toronto
A modern, dance set to a dark, heavy beat.

Toronto Dance Theatre

Vena Cava – first performed November 1998 in Toronto
A fast-paces, energizing show set to the music of composer Robert Moran.

Dance House continues to bring world-class dance performances, next up Betroffenheit, a collaboration between Kidd Pivot & Electric Company Theatre, March 14 – 17, 2018 at Vancouver Playhouse. Tickets online at dancehouse.ca

PuSh Festival Free Screening

Last season, PuSh Festival held a unique event, Le Grande Continental, at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza. Le Grande Continental was a massive, live dance event, choreographed by Montreal’s Sylvain Émard, 75 everyday Vancouverites of all ages rehearsed for 10 weeks to put on the four live performances during PuSh Festival 2015.  More than 2500 people turned out to watch the fun-filled free performances.

All of the rehearsals and performances were filmed for a documentary and tonight, that documentary, Between The Lines makes its debut at the same spot outside the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
Starting at 8pm, PuSh Festival invites the public for the free pre-screening festivities, followed by the outdoor film screening at dusk (approx 9pm)

Check out the trailer for Between The Lines then stop by Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza for the Free Screening this evening