Canada celebrates its first National Dance Week

By Samantha Mehra
  • Alison Denham and Billy Marchenski in AdamEve/Man-Woman Photo by Steven Lemay

On April 22nd, Canada began a celebration of its first National Dance Week, an initiative made possible by the Canadian Dance Assembly (CDA). The inaugural initiative aimed to engage communities by giving increased presence to Canada’s diverse dance scene through a series of events throughout the week. Highlights included a family-friendly Bollywood-inspired presentation by Canada’s National Ballet School at the Distillery District in Toronto; Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal performed Au nom de la rose / In the Name of the Rose, a sixty-person flash mob at Montréal’s Square Victoria-métro station. Dance NL used social media to post a video series of local celebrities promoting dance.

On April 29th, National Dance Week ended with the UNESCO-sponsored International Dance Day, an event celebrated annually since 1982. Events took place across the country such as the Winnipeg performances of Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, The Aboriginal School of Dance and the Young Lungs Dance Collective. For the fourth year in a row, the event received a proclamation from the Government of Manitoba. In Vancouver, the Scotiabank Dance Centre hosted a day of studio showings by local artists including Raven Spirit Dance, Modus Operandi, the Contingency Plan Collective, Kinesis Dance and Mandala Arts and Culture, as well as workshops and classes in flamenco, Pow-Wow and bharatanatyam. The celebration ended with a double-bill featuring ADAMEVE/Man-Woman (Part 1) by Vancouver’s Alvin Tolentino of Co.ERASGA and COCOONDANCE’s Another You, a work by Rafaele Giovanola of Bonn, Germany.

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