Vancouver Global Dance Project and Toronto's D2D Festival

By Samantha Mehra

From July 26th through August 13th, Vancouver hosted the city’s first contemporary dance festival for young and emerging artists: The Vancouver Global Dance Project (VGDP). Directed by Brenna Mclaud, Claire French and Heather Laura Gray, the project aims to use education and performance to unite the dance community and support young choreographers in creating contemporary dance work. The project also emphasizes the tools emerging choreographers require when creating and presenting new compositions. The VGDP included a three-week dance intensive for youth and pre-professionals, as well as a performance series in which festival participants and youth dance companies performed work for the public at Vancouver’s PAL Theatre on August 12th and 13th. Festival participants had the opportunity to work with guest choreographers Susan Elliott and Justine Chambers.

Toronto’s Dance 2 Danse Festival, the city’s newest annual dance festival, began its first run in August. Artistic Director Sion Irwin-Childs created the festival in order to provide diverse, economically sound and accessible opportunities for dancers and audiences. The festival is comprised of four dance series that showcase mixed programs of performers and choreographers: Eros, Thanatos & the Avant-Garde ~ The Cabaret Series (performed at The Rivoli); D2D Dance Duels (performed at the Winchester Street Theatre) in which the audience votes for its favourite pieces; D2D DLX! at which the favourites are performed; and D2D DIVERGE/DIVERSE, which presents seasoned dance artists and emerging artists.

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