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Flowering: Rachel Browne and Odette Heyn-Penner

By Julye Huggins
Flowering (2005)

It was announced this past weekend that Canadian dance icon Rachel Browne passed away in her sleep at age seventy-seven. Browne, a pioneer in modern dance, was the founder of Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers, the longest standing contemporary dance company in the country. She also co-founded Winnipeg’s School of Contemporary Dancers with Odette Heyn-Penner. Browne’s honours include the Order of Canada, the Jean A. Chalmers Award for Creativity in Dance, the Canada Council Jacqueline Lemieux Prize and the Manitoba Arts Council Great-West Life Lifetime Achievement Award.This video of Flowering (2005) features both Browne and Heyn-Penner in an intergenerational work. The twenty-minute piece is described by The Dance Current reviewer Holly Harris as “a beautiful portrait of the artist as an older woman, and a mesmerizing distillation of Browne’s life and career that is truly unforgettable.”Both the company and school are set to perform this week. Artistic Director Brent Lott notes, “She wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”
Learn more:Winnipeg’s Contemporary DancersRachel Browne’s Vimeo Channel

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