Vancouver’s contemporary dance scene takes centre stage in Dance In Vancouver, November 22-25. This biennial event provides a unique opportunity to experience the energy and innovation of contemporary dance generated by local artists. The 2017 edition features some of the West Coast’s most exciting artists and companies, including Aeriosa, Co.ERASGA, Julianne Chapple, Lesley Telford | Inverso, Karen Jamieson & Margaret Grenier, Wen Wei Dance, Ziyian Kwan | dumb instrument Dance, Shay Kuebler | Radical System Art, and more.
Organized every two years by The Dance Centre, Dance In Vancouver is unique for its concentrated focus on promoting the province’s contemporary dance talent, not only to local audiences, but also to dance promoters and scouts who come from across Canada and around the world to sample West Coast dance.
Executive Director Mirna Zagar explains: “Dance In Vancouver works on many levels. It’s a great opportunity for local audiences to experience the diversity of work taking place here, and it’s a chance for the artists and dance professionals to build national and international connections, and discuss issues relevant to the status of dance today. We have seen significant growth in touring activity and BC dance is now enjoying enhanced visibility on the world stage. Dance In Vancouver provides an opportunity for presenters to become more informed on BC’s increasingly dynamic and diverse contemporary dance scene.” This edition has been programmed by New Zealand-based guest curator Adam Hayward, and presenters are booked to attend from around BC, Canada, Europe and Asia.
Dialogue, Wen Wei Dance, Wednesday November 22, 8pm
Communication and the human need to connect inspire Dialogue, created by Wen Wei Wang for six powerful and expressive male dancers. Based on his personal experience as a non-English speaking immigrant to Canada, the work expresses our basic desire to be understood, and the loneliness when connections with others are not achieved. Wang combines sophisticated and highly physical choreography with striking design and compelling music, in an enthralling and deeply emotional performance.
Femme Fatales (excerpt), Meredith Kalaman, Thursday November 23, 8pm
Meredith Kalaman’s Femme Fatales takes a poetic and thought-provoking look at gender socialization, tracing historically gender-defined roles as far back as the witch-hunts of the past, to question their impact on inherited behaviours today. The work is eloquently performed by three versatile female dancers, with a commissioned score by Stefan Smulovitz.
Kwan Yin, Ziyian Kwan / dumb instrument Dance, Thursday November 23, 8pm
Contemplative and entrancing, Kwan Yin is danced by choreographer Ziyian Kwan with her 78-year-old father Lihuen Kwan, and features live music by cellist Peggy Lee. The piece is rooted in Buddhist thought and philosophy, and provides a poignant reflection on the love and compassion between a parent and child.
light breaking broken, Karen Jamieson / Karen Jamieson Dance & Margaret Grenier / Dancers of Damelahamid, Friday November 24, 8pm
Karen Jamieson and Margaret Grenier’s intimate light breaking broken is a personal journey by two artists reconnecting with language, culture, and identity. With different perspectives and individual histories, they use their distinct dance styles to push each other’s boundaries and forge a luminous path to understanding.
Spooky Action at a Distance (Phase One), Lesley Telford/ Inverso, Friday November 24, 8pm
Spooky Action at a Distance is inspired by Einstein’s famous phrase referring to particles that are so closely linked, they share the same existence. Lesley Telford’s imaginative collaboration with poet Barbara Adler blends spoken word and intricately beautiful choreography, to extend the theory to human connections in our phenomenally interconnected world.
Julianne Chapple + Mahaila Patterson-O’Brien + Marissa Wong + Shay Kuebler/Radical System Art, Saturday November 25, 1pm
Julianne Chapple’s trio Self Portrait is a complex and subtle study of identity and female self-image, drawing on depictions of women in art and the relationship with the spectator.
Mahaila Patterson-O’Brien’s duet 8bitself meditates on abstract gesture. The performers move with hypnotic precision through a series of sculptural movements, punctuated by vivid sound and projections by multimedia artist Remy Siu.
A collaboration with musician Jamie Bradbury, Marissa Wong/TWObigsteps collective’s Surrendurance investigates social behaviour as a series of complex patterns, and themes of spontaneity versus control, in a fluent and elegant work for five dancers.
Shay Kuebler/Radical System Art’s solo Feasting on Famine (excerpt) traces one man’s journey through the extremes of bodybuilding and health fitness, exploring the symmetry between the human body, the corporation, and the excesses of capitalism.
Aeriosa Second Nature (excerpt), Saturday November 25, 8pm
Renowned for thrilling aerial dance works which blend art, environment and adventure, Aeriosa’s latest creation is inspired by bamboo, both as a substance and a metaphor. Second Nature brings together a cast of fearless dancers and an original score by Jordan Nobles, tracing a path through shifting perspectives.
Co.ERASGA Tracing Malong, Saturday November 25, 8pm
Co.ERASGA’s Alvin Erasga Tolentino pays homage to his Filipino roots in Tracing Malong. A traditional fabric with many uses in daily life, the malong is at the heart of this dreamlike ensemble work, which explores multi-layered themes of history, culture, identity, and the relationship between tradition and the contemporary world.
You can catch the Dance In Vancouver shows from Wednesday-Saturday November 22-25, at Scotiabank Dance Centre, 677 Davie St, Vancouver.
For more information visit www.thedancecentre.ca.