Never Still opens the Firehall Arts Centre season.

Never Still:
Vanessa Goodman
photo: Ben Didier

Next week, The Firehall Arts Centre kicks off its 2018/2019 season with the world premiere of Never Still.  Running from from September 26 to 29, 2018, Never Still, is the newest work from Vancouver’s Vanessa Goodman (Action at a Distance Dance Society), created in collaboration with dancers Shion Skye Carter, Stéphanie Cyr, Bynh Ho, Alexa Mardon, Lexi Vajda, and Sound/Projection Designer Loscil (Scott Morgan), Lighting Designer James Proudfoot, Costumer Lloyd. 

Never Still is inspired by the inherent conflicts and dichotomies of water, it is graceful and challenging, like humanity itself.  Never Still explores social, environmental, and biological themes, in a highly physical piece that dives into the distinctions and overlap between three different systems of circulation: global water cycles, communication technology, and fluids within the body.

Never Still:
Shion Skye Carter
photo: Ben Didier

“We are living in an increasingly polarized culture,” says Donna Spencer, the Firehall Arts Centre’s Artistic Producer. “And it is our role as artistic creators to encourage audiences to consider, through what they are seeing on stage, how inextricably linked we all are in finding our way through these challenging times.”

She adds, “This season, our programming is about choices – the ones we make, the ones we think we should make but don’t, and the influences around us that colour that decision-making. Live performance allows us to experience a unique and powerful collective sharing of emotions and information that resonates through our day to day lives long after we have left the theatre, and indeed may influence the choices we make in the future.”

Never Still runs Wednesday September 26 to Saturday September 29, 2018 at The Firehall Arts Centre, 280 East Cordova Street

Picks of the Week – September 12, 2018

While we wouldn’t know it by the weather, we still have just over a week of summer left (officially) so let’s try to make the most of it with some of these entertainment picks

Bard Village

Bard: The 2018 season of Bard on the Beach is rapidly drawing to a close, the classic drama Macbeth on the Mainstage and Lysistrata on the Howard Family Stage, close tomorrow while extra shows have been added to the run of the brilliant Beatles themed version of As You Like It,  now closing Sep 28th.

Dog: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time opens the Arts Club Theatre Company’s season at Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until October 7th.

Fringe: It’s the final week for 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival and your chance to catch the cutting edge theatre and entertainment all around town.

Comedy: Aussie stand-by comic Jim Jefferies brings laughter to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre stage for three shows this weekend; Friday night at 7pm and 10pm, Saturday night at 8pm

L to R: Beatrice Zeilinger, Lynda Boyd and Nicola Cavendish
photo: David Cooper

Sisters: Take a drive and enjoy a trio of brilliant performances in the 20th Anniversary presentation of Daniel MacIvor’s acclaimed play Marion Bridge, at Kay Meeks Arts Centre in West Vancouver until September 20th.

Park: The Festival Lawn at Deer Lake Park welcomes Ms Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill 20th Anniversary Tour, on Saturday evening.

Open: Saturday, the Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House welcomes the public to explore all the dance companies that inhabit the Centre.

Market: Viva Mexico! Saturday from 11:30am – 8pm at Robson Square, explore Market Mexico, learn about the destination, culture and entertainment of Mexico.

Soul: American Gospel/Soul singer Leon Bridges comes to the PNE Amphitheatre on Sunday September 16

Improv: “Laugh til your face hurts” and lampoon the hysteria of the Back to School season at Vancouver Theatresports League , also check out the other laugh-filled show like the late night show WTF – What The Fun!

Fest: Westward Music Festival takes over music venues all around downtown Vancouver for four days of entertainment September 13-16.

Charity: Saturday watch stars from sports and TV, like Patrick Chan, Daniel & Henrik Sedin, the cast of Riverdale, Once Upon A Time, and The 100, take to the pitch at BC Place alongside Whitecaps legends in the annual Legends & Stars charity match supporting BC Children’s Hospital

Kicks: After the Legends & Stars match, stick around as Whitecaps FC play host to Cascadia Rivals Seattle in what’s sure to be a raucous afternoon.

Disco: Dance away the last days of disco  summer at Public Disco in the recently refreshed Ackery’s Alley (next to Orpheum Theatre). Enjoy the music on Saturday from 1pm – 8pm

 

Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House 2018

At the corner of Davie & Granville Street, behind the facade of the unassuming former bank building lies a thriving hub of Vancouver’s dance scene, the Scotiabank Dance Centre.

Kababayang Pilipino
photo: Leah Villalobos

Since 1986 The Dance Centre has been as a resource centre for professional dance companies and the public, providing a range of activities to the dance community. Presenting programs and events for artists and general public to build the profile of the dance scene in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia and beyond.

The annual Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House, taking place September 15, 2018 is an opportunity to sample a host of exciting dance styles, from ballet and contemporary to flamenco and swing, in a day of open classes, studio showings and events.

Vanessa Goodman
photo: David Cooper

“Our annual Open House is an opportunity to celebrate a wonderful building, which has become a home for dance of all kinds, and also to experience the excitement and diversity of Vancouver’s dance scene,” said Mirna Zagar, Executive Director of The Dance Centre, the organization which spearheaded the development of the building.

Participating companies and artists include Raven Spirit Dance, Kababayang Pilipino, Karen Flamenco, Shot of Scotch, Polymer Dance, Vanessa Goodman/Action at a Distance, Anderson Performance Clinic, Project Soul and many more.

Linda Arkelian Balley
photo: Erik Zennstrom

The Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House from 11am – 5pm, for a full schedule of events taking place throughout the day visit   thedancecentre.ca/open_house .
Pre-registration is not required.
Classes are suitable for all levels, including beginner, except where specified

Kick off Pride Season with The Lady In Red Ball

The Vancouver Pride season is almost upon us, to kick-off the festivities the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is hosting the first Lady In Red Ball, on July 27th.

Benefitting the Dr Peter AIDS Foundation, the inaugural Lady In Red Ball will be hosted Vancouver’s Next Drag Superstar 2017 winner, Kendall Gender.  The host will also delight attendees with a special performance with Vancouver’s drag troupe, The Brat Pack.  Taking place at The Roof (15th Floor) of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, guests will relive the heydays of the dinner & dances of the famed hot spot, the Panorama Roof.   Instead of the Dal Richards Orchestra performances of old, additional entertainment will come as Ballet BC leaps to the floor showcasing a specially choreographed work celebrating Pride.   Vancouver country music artist Patrick Masse will perform live, and a DJ will keep the party going into the evening.  Perhaps the Hotel Vancouver’s infamous ghost of the lady in red will also make an appearance to dance the night way?

Guests will find light reception fare at food stations around The Roof, tickets also include three beverages from the bar, additional drinks are available for purchase.  Partial proceeds from The Lady In Red Ball support The Dr Peter AIDS Foundation.  The Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation raises funds to support innovative health care at the Dr. Peter Centre in Metro Vancouver. The Centre is British Columbia’s only HIV/AIDS Day Health Program and 24-hour specialized nursing care Residence.

The Lady In Red Ball takes place from 7pm – 10pm on July 27, 2018. Guests must be 19+years of age to attend. Tickets are just $99 per person and available for purchase online at Eventbrite (fees extra)

TUTS takes us to 42nd Street

The 2018 season of Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) is now open with 42nd Street alternating nights at Malkin Bowl, in Stanley Park with Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella.

The company of 42nd Street
photo: Lindsay Elliott

Directed by Robert McQueen, 42nd Street is a show within a show jukebox musical that takes us back to 1930s Broadway.  A familiar selection of standards and showtunes are (very) loosely strung together by a behind-the-scenes story of the production of a Broadway show. The tried and true story of the small town girl looking to break into showbiz, follows fresh off the train Peggy Sawyer (Paige Fraser) making her way into the new Broadway musical, the show within the show, Pretty Lady. Acclaimed director Julian Marsh (Andrew Cownden) needs a hit to recover from his Stock Market Crash losses, star Dorothy Brock (Janet Gigliotti) needs to prove she’s not past her prime, even though she’s still very good at playing the diva in real life.

Paige Fraser (Peggy), Blake Sartin (Billy Lawlor)
photo: Lindsay Elliott

Along the way Dorothy is juggling paramours, then breaks her foot, Tenor Billy Lawlor is hoping to date Peggy, who is fired, hired, fired and rehired by Julian during the course of 42nd Street.
While the story is familiar and predictable, the cast is likeable and makes the most of the, schmaltzy, depression-era dialogue. Fraser and Gigliotti each deliver strong vocals and are perfectly paired on their duet About A Quarter To Nine.  Cownden performs with a single-minded toughness like he’s stepped right out of a gangster film,  but manages to make Marsh endearing.

Blake Sartin (Billy Lawlor, left) with the cast of 42nd Street
photo: Lindsay Elliott

The show really comes to life in the brilliantly choreographed, by Shelley Stewart Hunt, production numbers.  With up to 30 cast members onstage lending a Busby Berkley-esque feel to the tap routines, the cacophony of the taps beating a rhythm to the catchy tunes, like We’re In The Money, Lullaby of Broadway, and 42nd Street, really lift the excitement of the show.

The tap dancers onstage won’t be the only ones with their feet in motion, the production will leave you tapping and humming along throughout your journey to 42nd Street at Theatre Under The Stars.
42nd Street runs until August 17, 2018 at Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park. Find tickets online at tuts.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

Che Malambo Stomps Across The Stage

Like a troupe of gauchos storming the Pampas of Argentina, Che Malambo burst onto the stage at Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver.  A breathtaking 90 minute spectacle of thundering South American rhythms and music.

Presented by Caravan World Rhythms, Che Malambo brings the spirit of the gaucho (South American cowboys) signature step dance styles, Malambo and Zapateo, to the stage.  Two dozen feet moving as one, the dancers opened the show with a rousing number that matched their feet with beats of the drums.  Choreographed and developed by renowned dancer and choreographer Gilles Barnes the non-stop action that followed was simply breathtaking, from stripped-down barefoot dances, to full-throttle, boot-stomping body percussion dance battles. The dancers performed their own music, either by accompanying the dance with guitar and drums, using body percussion, or matching their steps with the beats of illuminated bolas on the stage.  Midway, the audience was treated to another talent as the dancers sang a set of Argentine folks songs, drawing the audience into the fold to clap along to the rhythms.

We were on the edge of our seats and there were many spontaneous whoots and cheers from the audience throughout the 90 minute performance. Inspired by their lightening quick footwork, the audience leapt to their feet to deliver a long standing ovation to see Che Malambo off-stage.

Caravan World Rhythms has more performances from around the world this year. Fiesta MexiColmbiana brings three Latin American acts to the Wise Hall, May 26, Noreum Machi from Korea is at Norman Rothstein Theatre in July to name just a couple, visit caravanbc.com for more.