logo
Canada’s Dance Magazine
  • PRINT
  • ONLINE
  • LIVE

BC

 

Rhythmic Attraction 

By Mary Theresa Kelly “Magnetic Consequences” Decidedly Jazz Danceworks

The cool kids from Calgary are in town. They groove, they jump, they rock and they bop; they funk it up, and work it out. Best of all they feel the blues, and they transmit that love of rhythm and blues in every eighth note.  

 

Seduced by the Sound 

By Kaija Pepper “Chutzpah!” The Lisa Nemetz International Showcase of Jewish Performing Arts   Chutzpah! Festival

The Chutzpah! Festival is always a sprawling celebration of Jewish culture through dance, theatre and music that takes place annually at the Norman Rothstein Theatre in the Jewish Community Centre.  

 

Flamenco with an Asian Touch 

By Kaija Pepper “Café de Chinitas” Mozaico Flamenco

Every flamenco show needs at least one inspired soloist, a bailaora (flamenco dancer) who sets the audience’s pulse beating faster. Kasandra, the lead dancer of Mozaico Flamenco Dance Theatre, was certainly that during the company’s one-night only premiere of “Café de Chinitas” at the Norman Rothstein Theatre. 

 

Not Quite a Theatrical Journey 

By Kaija Pepper “STONE:Drift” Julia Taffe, Aeriosa

Climbing a mountain and dancing in a theatre – both are highly physical endeavors that challenge the body and mind. The first, however, is about climbers getting physically from one place to another, while the second involves performers taking an audience on an imaginative journey. When a love of both climbing and dancing collide, aerial or vertical dance is born – and what is the journey then?  

 

Different Lenses, Different Views 

By Imogen Whyte , Mary Theresa Kelly Dancing on the Edge Festival 2006  Dancing on the Edge Festival

This year audiences strayed far and wide at Vancouver’s Dancing on the Edge Festival, where the action drifted beyond the festival’s usual haven, that beloved brick building known as the Firehall Arts Centre in Vancouver’s downtown eastside.  

 

Driven by Plot not Desire 

By Kaija Pepper “A Streetcar Named Desire” John Alleyne, Ballet BC

It looks good and sounds great. “A Streetcar Named Desire”, by Ballet British Columbia’s artistic director, John Alleyne, is full of eye-catching, interlacing duets and the fifteen members of Ballet BC perform with confidence and style.  

 

The Weight of Aggression 

By Kaija Pepper “Lost Action” Crystal Pite, Kidd Pivot

Crystal Pite’s “Lost Action”, which premiered at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre as the closing show of the Vancouver International Dance Festival, makes a serious and emotionally gripping statement about conflict.  

 

A Butoh Classic 

By Kaija Pepper “Sunyata” Kokoro Dance, Vancouver International Dance Festival

Who knew it would last? When Jay Hirabayashi and Barbara Bourget of Kokoro Dance launched the Vancouver International Dance Festival in 1998, it was a showcase for international butoh artists. For the first few years, attendance was dismal. Some of the shows were good, some appalling; but looked at in hindsight, audiences were getting a fantastic grounding in the art of butoh.  

 

It Dances as a Whole 

By Kaija Pepper “5 AM” Paula de Vasconcelos, Pigeons International, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

The rhythmic flow and poetic abstraction of “5 AM” (“5 Heures du Matin”) lends the whole of Paula de Vasconcelos’ well-produced and visually outstanding dance/theatre work a polished choreographic feel. Yet the pure dance sections themselves were disappointing.  

 

Three Exceptional Women 

By Kaija Pepper Dances for a Small Stage XII  Dances for a Small Stage

Dances for a Small Stage takes place in a bar, the Crush Champagne Lounge on downtown Granville Street, just a few steps away from The Dance Centre. The bar venue is crucial to the success of the popular series, which is produced by Day Helesic and Julie-anne Saroyan of MovEnt, because having a good time is what Small Stage is all about.  

 

Seriously Improvising 

By Kaija Pepper “Thirst” Peter Bingham, Wen Wei Wang

The partnership of Peter Bingham and Wen Wei Wang is a surprising one. Bingham is an older dancer, in his mid-fifties, and widely known as a master of contact improvisation. Wang, fourteen years younger, studied Chinese dance from a young age, was a member of Ballet British Columbia for several years and has a growing reputation as a contemporary choreographer. 

 

That Rare Breed Called Soloist  

By Kaija Pepper Chasing Bliss Jolene Bailie, Cuppa Jo Solo Dance

It’s not easy to be a solo dancer, filling out a program and keeping the audience engaged and focussed all by yourself. Margie Gillis does it brilliantly; so does Peggy Baker. And so does the up-and-coming Jolene Bailie.  

 

Reading Dance 

By Robin J. Miller Nanaimo Infringing Dance Festival  Nanaimo Infringing Dance Festival 

Nanaimo, BC – about an hour-and-a-half’s drive north from Victoria on Vancouver Island – is not anybody’s idea of a chic, urban centre. It doesn’t even have a downtown Starbucks. What it does have is a contemporary dance festival, when other, much larger and ostensibly more dance-friendly cities have lost theirs. 

 

A Ceremonial Event  

By Kaija Pepper “Percy Gladstone Memorial Dance (The Skidegate Project)” Karen Jamieson Dance Company, Dancing on the Edge Festival

The good news from the Edge is that it got off to a great start. Margie Gillis, the opening headliner for the 17th annual Dancing on the Edge Festival of Contemporary Dance, drew excellent houses for both nights of her “Voyages Into the Interior Landscape”. Gillis appeared at the mid-sized, close to 700-seat Vancouver Playhouse, an upscale, downtown theatre, and to see it well filled and bustling made for a festive launch to the ten-day event. 

A Stage Full of Hurtin’ Albert’ns  

By Kaija Pepper “Nine Points to Navigate” Brian Webb Dance Company

What is the soul of a man? … When Sheri Somerville and Brian Webb ask the question in “Nine Points to Navigate”… the answer is more meaningfully grounded in their particular world, growing up in post-World-War-II Alberta.  

 

Gods and Dance Know Space and Time  

By Kaija Pepper "Vivarta -- Manifestations of Vishnu" and "HowZaat!" Lata Pada, Sampradaya Dance Creations

For her latest project, choreographer Lata Pada travelled to India to hold auditions. The artistic director of Toronto-based Sampradaya Dance Creations was in search of full-time professional bharata natyam dancers, a rare breed in Canada.  

 

First, A Comedy 

By Kaija Pepper RIFF Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg, Day Helesic

Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg is half man. On her father’s side, going way back. Also, she tells us at the start of “BANGER”, she married a man. Amazing, eh? Who better, then, to explore the contemporary male than Friedenberg?  

 

Turning Up the Heat 

By Robin J. Miller ¡BULLA! Hannah Stilwell, Kimberley Cooper, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks

It’s too bad Victoria doesn’t get snow, because it would have been fun to watch it melt under the heat of “¡BULLA!”, the latest full-length show from Calgary’s Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, subtitled “A Loud Cuban Jazz Experiment.” And loud it was. Also raucous and sexy and colourful, and very definitely hot.  

 

A Quorum of Collaborators 

By Philip Szporer Social Studies/Sciences Sociales  Quorum

The idea for Social Studies/Sciences Sociales surfaced when, back in 2001, Danse-Cité director Daniel Soulières danced with Ziyian Kwan in David Pressault’s work, “Violet”. He came away from that experience with a tenacious desire to unleash a platform for contemporary dancers from Vancouver teamed with choreographers from Montréal. Then he met another terrific, fluent Vancouver dance artist, Susan Elliott. Fellow Vancouverite John Ottmann became the third artist to join the East-meets-West project. (The trio also became known as a new collective, Quorum.)  

 

Vancouver International Dance Festival 2005

By Kaija Pepper Vancouver International Dance Festival Vancouver International Dance Festival

The fifth Vancouver International Dance Festival at the Roundhouse Community Centre took place from March 8-26, 2005 

LISTINGS THIS WEEK