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Features

City Dance Corps senior hip hop students / Photo courtesy of Desjardins
 

All that Glitters...

How do studios decide to compete? By Grace Wells-Smith

Dance competitions in Canada are becoming more and more popular, but what values are associated with this world? Grace Wells-Smith sat down with Jennalee Desjardins and Sean Boutilier, who initially appear to be on opposing sides of this debate.

 

Fearless Physicality

Athleticism in Toronto’s professional wrestling scene By Deanne Kearney

Professional wrestlers are athletes, performers, actors, dancers, gymnasts and comedians, and their sport has more in common with a ballet than with an episode of reality TV. Take a deeper look at the astonishing athleticism and theatricality within the world of pro wrestling.

 

Myth-Busting

The Dance Current asked artists to share the misconceptions and assumptions surrounding the style(s) and genre(s) they work in and what they wish people knew about their practice.

 

Beginnings are Everywhere

Reflections on the Coastal First Nations Dance Festival By Jane Gabriels

Join Jane Gabriels on her journey to the 2018 Coastal First Nations Dance Festival (CFNDF). Responding to the experience from a place of accompaniment, Gabriels pivots from viewer to witness.

William Yong in his own work Steer, with visual design by Jerome Delapierre / Photo by David Hou
 

Collective Copyright

Navigating authorship within contemporary dance By Lee Slinger

As dance artists navigate projects and performances, they encounter differing ideas of authorship. The evolving relationship between artists and digital media sharing have also shaped how these concepts are understood. Slinger spoke with several contemporary dance artists about their understandings of ownership, authorship and the role of intellectual property in their art-making processes. Slinger also weighs in with Carys Craig, a scholar of intellectual property, who argues that the legal system imposes binaries, such as choreographer/performer or work/performance, on creative work that do not speak to how dance is created, performed and shared.

 

Caribana is Our Stage

Embodying tradition, ritual and art in Canadian Carnival By Kevin A. Ormsby

Themes of becoming, shaping from and returning to are central to Caribbean performance arts. As one of these art forms, Carnival is a nuanced performance art practice rooted in the cultural memory of the lives of Caribbean peoples throughout Canada and the diaspora. But whose story is told (or not told) and in what context? The telling or omission of stories can be traced to a lack of understanding of the complexity of the Caribbean and its Carnival – a performance tradition that is more than the mass commodification, sexuality and “loud music” we often associate it with.

 

Where Are All the Women?

In an industry where women outnumber men, ballet still has a long way to go to achieve gender equality By Tessa Perkins Deneault

In an industry where women outnumber men, ballet still has a long way to go to achieve gender equality. Take a look into the state of gender parity and representation in Canadian ballet.

Sarah Elola in her own work La Pileuse / Photo by Stacyann Lee
 

Decolonizing Dance Stages

Presenters talk about breaking barriers By Rhodnie Désir

This year in Canada, the conversation about diversity, inclusion and representation has been omnipresent. I’m profoundly happy that more presenters, curators and jurors have brought these words into their vocabulary. But I question what they’re really referring to. Do we all really feel and understand the urgency? More precisely, when asking, “What does the word diversity really mean?” the answers from the dance milieu are often incomplete, reflecting a lack of comprehension of the issues at stake.

Photo courtesy of Kate Cornell
 

The Politics of Dance

The current moment of arts advocacy at the federal level By Kate Cornell

Ten years ago, in the Summer 2007 issue, Shannon Litzenberger, then executive director of the Canadian Dance Assembly, wrote a column about the dance community and the federal government, “Coping with the Conservatives: CDA reflects on a year of cultural policy under Canada’s new government.” The Dance Current asked current executive director Kate Cornell to comment on the changes over the past decade and the relationship with the Trudeau Liberal government.

 

Choreographing Community

Vancouver’s community-engaged dance momentum By Brittany Duggan

“You have to almost fall out of love before you’re going to open up to other possibilities,” recalls Karen Jamieson, of her journey into community-engaged dance. A Canadian pioneer of the practice, Jamieson shares with Brittany Duggan how this practice spread through Vancouver and how it was “utterly different from professional dance” as she had previously known and practised it.

 

Expressive Bodies and Digital Cultures

Thinking about the Symposium IX on “Embodied Spaces” By Dena Davida

What is at stake for dancers and the dance profession in the face of technological advances? Dena Davida explores this question, based on her experiences at Symposium IX, presented by Audiokinetic and organized at/by the Société des arts technologiques (SAT) in Montréal, Québec, from May 30th through June 3rd, 2017.

 

Broadening the Stage

Connecting with dance audiences through body diversity, representation and inclusivity By Cristina Matteis

Pervasive conceptions about which bodies are considered beautiful, professionally acceptable or healthy continue to restrict how individuals seek self-expression through the art of dance. Activists, experts and dance artists discuss the importance of body diversity in presenting a wider range of lived experiences onstage, reaching new audiences and connecting with them more meaningfully.

 

Code of Silence

A call to action to address and prevent abuse in dance communities By Marie France Forcier

In the March/April issue of The Dance Current, Marie France Forcier hosted the print conversation, “Creating Safe Spaces.” The article focused on sharing strategies for identifying and preventing abusive situations. In this follow-up, Forcier delves deeper into the problematic, widespread and systematic experiences that lay at the root of that discussion by challenging what she identifies as the code of silence within the discipline.

 

Moving Others

The relationship between audience engagement and attendance By Emma Doran

Most dance artists and presenters must negotiate the tension between creating work that meets their artistic goals, that is accessible to their community and that provides the fiscal support required to live as an artist and to run a company. Emma Doran speaks with artists, organizations and presenters across the country to discuss how they envision their audience, how they are seeking to reach those individuals and what constitutes meaningful engagement with them.

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