BE MOVED by Arts Umbrella Dance Company’s Season Finale

Arts Umbrella follows its theatre & music department’s 2019 Expressions Theatre Festival with the Dance Company’s season finale BE MOVED.

AUDC Be Moved

Arts Umbrella Dance Company’s (AUDC) BE MOVED, is the company’s season finale and a chance for audiences to see creations by acclaimed international, Canadian, and local Vancouver choreographers. 

In four shows over three days, May 23 – 25, BE MOVED offers audiences the chance to see work that is rarely performed in Canada. Each performances features the contributions of over a dozen international dance artists, including luminaries such as Johan Inger (The Netherlands), Marts Ek (Sweden), and Crystal Pite (Vancouver). 

“What is most extraordinary about our performances is the roster of international choreographers that come to Vancouver to create new works and set existing repertoire on our dancers,” AUDC Artistic Director Artemis Gordon said. “The quality of the work being performed is exceptional, and these performances offer Vancouver audiences a glimpse into the international stage.” 

An outstanding, must-see event in the Vancouver arts calendar, this end-of-year presentation represents the culmination of months of exploration and rehearsal for AUDC students.

AUDC Be Moved

“BE MOVED offers audience-goers incomparable access to view works by international choreographers, many of which have never been previously performed on Vancouver stages,” Gordon said. “These extraordinary performances provide a glimpse into the future of international dance through the artistry of a dynamic group of emerging artists.”

Arts Umbrella Dance Company Season Finale BE MOVED runs at Vancouver Playhouse, 600 Hamilton Street, on May 23-25, at 7:30pm nightly, plus 2:30pm Saturday matinee. Tickets are on sale now at artsumbrella.com

Ballet BC Program 2 kicks up its heals

This past weekend, Ballet BC Program 2 wrapped up at Queen Elizabeth Theatre. As Artistic Director Emily Molnar and Executive Director John Clark welcomed the audience, the dancers prepared to perform three diverse works.

Ballet BC Program 2
Ballet BC

1st Flash opened the program. Choreographed by Jorma Elo, 1st Flash premiered in 2003 with Ballet BC presenting the Canadian premier in 2011. Six dancers displaying beautiful harmony, and grace, while dancing in silence, as well as to Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D Minor.

Which/One choreographed by emerging artist Adi Salant, commissioned by Ballet BC made its world premiere. Combining modern and classic movement and music, sixteen dancers, filled the stage with a lively, contemporary work. Incorporating music and dialogue from A Chorus Line, I Hope I Get It, felt suitable for a piece that included a number of Ballet BC’s emerging dancers.

Solo Echo is another returning work, first premiered by Ballet BC in 2015. Choreographed by Crystal Pite, Solo Echo finds seven dancers moving with strength and agility to beautiful music of Brahms’ Cello Sonatas in E Minor and F Major.

Left breathless by the he strength and beauty of the Ballet BC dancers performing the choreographer’s works audiences were definitely buzzing with excitement as they left the theatre, creating anticipation for Program 3, coming May 9, 10, & 11, 2019

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

 

Joe: A Solo Show coming to Dance Centre

photo: Michael Slobodian

For three nights only, audiences will be treated to three solo dance pieces, by three diverse choreographers, in Joe: A Solo Show at the Scotiabank Dance Centre. Presented October 18-20, by Joe Ink, and Vancouver dance luminary Joe Laughlin; Joe: A Solo Show includes the work of Vancouver dance artist Amber Funk Barton, Montreal-based choreographer Gioconda Barbuto, and internationally-renowned South African choreographer Vincent Mantsoe. The culmination of a profound process of personal, physical, and artistic discovery, the solos are skillfully woven together with voiceover by the artists to create a richly nuanced tapestry that encapsulates Laughlin through the eyes of each of his esteemed colleagues.

Hailed as “a chameleon” by The Globe and Mail, Laughlin’s athletic background and versatility has informed more than 60 highly inventive creations for Joe Ink and such esteemed organizations as the National Arts Centre, the Banff Centre, the Canada Dance Festival, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and the Johannesburg-based Moving into Dance Mophatong, to name a few. His excellence in choreography – influenced by classical to contemporary and hip hop to gymnastics – has been recognized with the Clifford E. Lee Award for Choreography, the Jacqueline Lemieux Prize, and the Isadora Award, among others.

“I feel privileged to be presenting a 60 minute solo show at this stage in my career. Exploring new aspects of my physical capabilities while navigating an aging body is a welcome challenge,” explains Laughlin. “I love each of these dancers/choreographers, both as artists and as friends. There is a certain alchemy that happens during the creative process, an intermingling of spirits, and experiencing that magic with each of them has enriched me as a performer and as a choreographer.”
The three pieces in Joe: A Solo Show are:

Silas
Choreographer: Amber Funk Barton
Inspired by John Steinbeck’s East of Eden.
Set to music by Arcade Fire performed by Vitamin String Quartet.

Long Story Short
Choreographer: Gioconda Barbuto
Inspired by Laughlin’s own recollections of personal photographs.
Set to electro-acoustic music by Vancouver composer Owen Belton

GIYA
Choreographer: Vincent Mantsoe
Giya means dance in EseZulu, the piece blends traditional Zulu dances
Set to Astor Piazolla’s tango, Oblivion

Joe: A Solo Show takes place October 18-20, 2018 at Scotiabank Dance Centre, 677 Davie Street.
Tickets, $38, are on sale at Tickets Tonight

DanceHouse Wraps 10th Season with Dorrance Dance

This weekend, DanceHouse brought their 10th anniversary season to a close with a stellar performance from New York City based Dorrance Dance. The acclaimed tap troupe presented Triple Bill,  a retrospective trio of very different dance pieces that demonstrated the range of this talented company and its Artistic Director and founder Michelle Dorrance.

Jungle Blues – Dorrance Dance

Triple Bill opened with a swinging piece, Jungle Blues, reminiscent of the golden age of Jazz, using the Jelly Roll Morton song of the same name as its inspiration.  Coincidentally, from 1919 to 1921, Jelly Roll Morton had a residency at Pat’s Pub just a short distance away from the Playhouse. The rapid fire movement of the short piece introduced the 10 member company and set the stage for a rousing evening of dance.

Three to One – Dorrance Dance

Three to One, a Bessie (NYC Dance & Performance) Award winning work featuring Michelle Dorrance, Bryon Tittle, and Matthew West, was a very different piece. Modern and moody, incorporating electronic music; Nannou by Aphex Twin and Thom Yorke’s A Rat’s Nest. With just Ms Dorrance wearing tap shoes, while the other dancers were barefoot, Three to One gave a difference interpretation of what tap dance could bring to the stage.

Myelination – Dorrance Dance

The final and longest piece, Myelination, added live musicians Prawn til Dante, Donovan Dorrance and Gregory Richardson, with vocalist Aaron Marcellus, to the stage.  With the musicians on stage the beats of the dancers’ feet and the smooth music seamlessly crossed over into one sound.  Choreographed by Michelle Dorrance with improvisation by the company, Myelination incorporates more than just tap, bringing hip hop, modern dance and of course electric energy to the work.

Throughout the performances, just as the dancers improvised, the audience spontaneously erupted into applause and hoots of excitement to the thrilling works.

As Triple Bill closed out the DanceHouse season, they also introduced the 2018-2019 season which will include works from companies around the globe; Company Wang Ramirez (France), Akram Khan Company (UK), Jacob Boehme & Ilbijerri Theatre Company (Australia), Kidd Pivot (Vancouver), Compagnie Marie Chouinard (Montreal) and Momix (US).  Subscriptions are on sale now for the DanceHouse 2018-2019 season.

Uncover the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival ’17

Shake a tail-feather and get your tickets now for the Vancouver International Burlesque Festival.  Canada’s most prestigious and long-running burlesque festival, showcases Vancouver’s long history with the art of burlesque and cabaret dancing. In the 1940’s Vancouver nightclubs rivaled the hotbeds of Montreal and San Francisco as a mecca for burlesque.  Since 2006, the Burlesque Festival has been bringing burlesque to a new generation.

This weekend, March 31 – April 1, 2017, a series of workshops help the sharing of knowledge and skills between burlesque generations. Learn how to get the most of a costume budget with Nasty Canasta, find your fierceness with Sassy von Stradler, feel the music and movement with Bazuka Joe, whip out your Wild Side with burlesque legend Camille 2000 or many other performers passing in their experience.

The public can start the weekend on Thursday March 30th with Tit Talks 2017, a TED Talks style session to Teach, Inspire and Transcend. Then experience their favourite burlesque performers or discover the artform for the first time at The International Cabaret on Friday March 31st and Vancouver Uncovered on Saturday April 1st at Vancouver Playhouse.

Get your tickets for Vancouver International Burlesque Festival online at vibf.ca now

Madonna – Rebel Heart Tour in Vancouver

Madonna – Rogers Arena – October 14, 2015

Every time people try to deem her irrelevant, ‘past it’ or (gasp) too old, Madonna steps up and proves why she is the one who sets the standard.  Wednesday night, her Rebel Heart Tour touched down in Vancouver and the thousands of fans in Rogers Arena were treated to a spectacle that throws down the gauntlet for other performers to live up to.

For over two hours, the Material Girl presented a vision of her musical journey from opening with the brand new “Rebel Heart” track “Iconic” all the way back to the iconic single “Holiday” from her eponymous 1983 first album.  Whether is was watching the dramatic Matador-themed performance  of “Living For Love” turn into a Flamenco inspired “La Isla Bonita” the multi-faceted performer kept all eyes and ears on her throughout the show, unless she wanted them focused elsewhere.

From start to finish, the audience was at her command, the performance level never wavered, even during costume changes her cadre of dancers kept us enraptured with visual spectacles to Madonna backing tracks. Each act built upon the last, introducing new material while reeling us in with tastes and treats of singles from her vast catalogue.  Since she hasn’t played Vancouver until her more recent tours, there’s still plenty of fans seeing her for the first time, which adds to the high energy and excitement in the arena and for those returning fans, she doesn’t disappoint.

While many a pop princess has come and gone for over three decades, Madonna has reigned supreme and continues to create, innovate and evolve her talent.

Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour continues down the West Coast of North American this month and around the world until next Spring.