The Friday Round Up

•October 24, 2014 • Leave a Comment

So pull on the rubber boots, get out the brolly and venture out to all the amazing dance that is happening this week!

lev-house5-c-christopherduggan__largeIn DanceHouse’s second show of the season, L-E-V and Sharon Eyal bring us HOUSE, November 14 and 15. For many years Sharon Eyal was muse, dancer, and choreographer at Batsheva Dance. With her own company L-E-V (heart in Hebrew), she and collaborator Gai Behar make work that could be equally at home at a techno club or an opera house. Since its inception in 2013, L-E-V has fed off of emerging technologies and integrated them effortlessly and unobtrusively into cross-disciplinary stagings. L-E-V is the confluence of movement, music, lighting, fashion, art, and technology—each uniquely expressive while emotionally entwined. With a sensibility seen here in 2013’s Corps de Walk, House’s fiercely talented dancers move with expressive precision as they explore what a house truly is: a home, a club, an asylum, a way station. Take a peek here. Once again, an opportunity to see one of the hottest companies on the international dance scene! At the Vancouver Playhouse 8pm. Tix (Photo by Christopher Duggan)

Don’t miss Bboyizm, at the Cultch until October 26, in their new work Music Creates Opportunity! The piece features traditional street dances including rocking, b-boying, house dancing and pantsula- a street dance from Soweto, South Africa. It showcases music as a universal language that offers a multitude of possibilities for expression. Whether the music is an external force or created by the dancers themselves, music is the critical link between dancers. Take a look at Bboyizm hereTickets and info.

Denise-Clarke-in-WAG-credit-Trudie-Lee-PhotographyDenise Clarke’s Wag continues at the Firehall Arts Centre until October 25. A comedy of tragic proportions Denise Clarke dances her way through this solo performance of tender stories and beautiful music. Loss and cheerful discoveries permeate this blend of monologue and movement, which presents a mosaic of highly personal moments told in Clarke’s signature style. wag is a balm for your heart, a kick in the pants, and essential viewing from this seminal artist. Info and tix.

October 24 and 25 The Contingency Plan and Moberly Arts and Cultural Centre present THE INTERPLAY PROJECT, a contemporary performance lab that celebrates innovation and experimentation in the performing arts. Curated by The Contingency Plan, the production provides an opportunity for artists to play, challenge and discover new ideas around collaboration and performance. The art of live performance will continue to surprise, provoke and engage the audience.  Seven diverse, interdisciplinary artistic partnerships from emerging and established artists working in the visual arts, performance art, dance, music, spoken word, theatre, new media and lighting design, including Naomi Brand & Ben Brown, plastic orchid factory and Amal Rana, Priti Gami Shah & Noor Attar. At the Moberly Arts Centre, 8pm. For more info

October 29 venture out to see the studio showing of 12 Minutes Max. 12MM aims to foster experimentation and the development of new work, along with critical feedback and community dialogue. The participants receive subsidized studio space at Scotiabank Dance Centre to research and create their works, with input from the guest curators, and share their work in an informal studio showing open to the public. This years artists are Naomi Brand, Kara Nolte, Jane Osborne and Daisy Thompson. Read the blog here. 6pm at the Scotiabank Dance Centre. FREE

 

The Friday Round Up

•October 17, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Busy, busy week ahead. A little bit of something for everyone – or why not try it all?

Tonight you can still catch Brief Encounters RevueBrief Encounters Revue looks back at some of the best pieces Brief Encounters has ever produced. They also return to their favourite live performance venue, Guilt & Co.  1 Alexander St, Vancouver, 8pm. Tix

This Sat. 7-10 pm is Co.ERASGA’s annual fundraising event, if you have not plan anything on the weekend, come out and support dance dance dance..
@ Centre A, 229 E Georgia st.

Tonight and tomorrow night, art and science collide in QUANTUM, the result of Gilles Jobin’s artistic residency at the largest particle physics laboratory in the world – CERN in Geneva, where he worked with scientists to investigate principles of matter, gravity, time and space in relation to the body. Six dancers power through densely textured, sculptural choreography, to evoke the subtle balance of forces that shape our world. Illuminated by Julius von Bismarck’s light-activated kinetic installation built from industrial lamps, and accompanied by an electronic score by Carla Scaletti which incorporates data from the Large Hadron Collider, QUANTUM epitomizes the adventurous, searching spirit of artistic and scientific inquiry. At the ScotiaBank Dance Centre, 8pm. Post-show talkback Friday October 17. Tix

20140305_bboyizm_mco_14Choreographer Crazy Smooth and company Bboyizm return to the Cultch October 21 to 26 with a new hybrid of rocking and b-boying in the new work Music Creates Opportunity. Brilliantly transitioning hip-hop and breakdancing from the street to the stage, this new creation explores themes of personal expression through authentic street dance while pushing the boundaries of this increasingly popular art form. Music Creates Opportunity features traditional street dances including rocking, b-boying, house dancing and pantsula- a street dance from Soweto, South Africa. While creating past works the company took partnering workshops with Sylvain Lafortune in order to explore different ways to use the street dance vocabulary, and in turn enhance their b-boy foundation. Working on partnering and contact improvisation awakened a curiosity in Crazy Smooth about how street dancers express themselves in relationship to the music, whereas in “contact improvisation” dancers express themselves through a relationship with other moving bodies. The contrast between these two styles is the essence of the new creation and introduces “Rhythmic Contact” into the vocabulary of street dance. At the Cultch, 8pm, October 26 2pm. Tix

Beginning next Thursday October 23 thru to Oct 25, MovEnt with Music on Main present Dances for a Small Stage 31. Taking place as part of the Modulus Festival, the 31st installment features a stellar line-up, including renowned composer John Oswald, choreographer Holly Small, and the Cecilia String Quartet, coupled with Toronto-based dance artists and local favourites Vanessa Goodman, Stewart Iguidez, and Makaila Wallace. The eclectic ensemble will collaborate on a diverse evening of dance, with original Oswald compositions, live performances of Tchaikovsky scores, and more. At the Ukrainian Hall (154 East 10th Avenue), 8pm. Tix $20 at the door (come early!) or tix

 

The Friday Round Up

•October 10, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Thanksgiving weekend so we have given you time off for the weekend! But still lots of great stuff to see next week.

Wednesday October 15 The Western Front presents The Muted Note. Unaccompanied trombone and voice boldly interpret the poems of the late P.K. Page through song and dance. Scott Thomson’s suite of songs first developed in 2010 as arrangements for his quintet, The Rent, have since been adapted for an intimate duet specially designed for vocalist/dancer Susanna Hood. Together they fuse word and song with dances choreographed and performed by Susanna Hood, “what emerges is a kind of dance between voice and trombone, between word and sound, a subtle counterpoint between conjoined melodies and ideas of voice, always in close connection to the gestural power of Page’s phrases,” -Stuart Broomer, Music Works, 2013. Following their performance, Governor General Award winner and author of Journey with No Maps, A Life of P.K. Page Sandra Djwa leads a conversation with artists Scott Thomson and Susanna Hood. At the Western Front, 303 E8th Avenue, 8pm. For more info and tix go here.

October 16 – 18, as part of the Dance Centre’s Global Dance Connections, comes Compagnie Gilles Jobin (Switzerland), in QUANTUM. Art and scienceCN_CieGillesJobin collide in QUANTUM, the result of Gilles Jobin’s artistic residency at the largest particle physics laboratory in the world – CERN in Geneva, where he worked with scientists to investigate principles of matter, gravity, time and space in relation to the body. Six dancers power through densely textured, sculptural choreography, to evoke the subtle balance of forces that shape our world. Illuminated by Julius von Bismarck’s light-activated kinetic installation built from industrial lamps, and accompanied by an electronic score by Carla Scaletti which incorporates data from the Large Hadron Collider, QUANTUM epitomizes the adventurous, searching spirit of artistic and scientific inquiry. Scotia Bank Dance Centre, 8pm. Tix.

An evening of 3 contemporary dance world premieres, produced by Karissa Barry and MovEnt. New works by Karissa Barry, Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg and Anne Plamondon, with dancers Karissa Barry, Lexi Vajda and Jessica Wilkie. October 17 and 18, at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, 8pm.

 

The Friday Round Up

•October 3, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Hello dear fellow dance lovers! Busy weekend last week? We would love to hear your thoughts about any thing you may have seen!

Ballet BCThis Saturday October 4, Ballet BC will perform a site specific piece Products of Our Time that explores how we communicate, how we see ourselves, and how technology has affected what it means to be a social being.  And what is really cool is that it is going to be performed at the Vancouver Airport, and it is FREE! Be there at either Noon or 1pm

Also On Saturday October 4, but this time in the evening, come to watch the street dance competition Last One Stands  at the Michael J.Fox Theatre, 7373 MacPherson Ave., Burnaby, Burnaby. Info here.

Sunday October 5, New Works presents Flamenco Rosario in their first Dance Allsorts of the season. The company will perform both traditional and contemporary Flamenco. At the Waterfront Theatre, 1412 Cartwright St, Granville Island, Vancouver. Tix at the door, or if you want to guarantee a seat buy a ticket beforehand.

The Friday Round Up

•September 26, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Rest up today, maybe call in sick? Cos you are going to need lots of energy to see all the dance that is being offered around town this weekend!

Soooo, do you want to see the work of someone who puts as much heart and soul into working with kids from the East End of London as he does with the dancers of the British Royal Ballet? Someone whose choreography is as eclectic as a piece for the Paris Opera Ballet and a hugely popular Radio Head music video with over 29,000,000 hits?  Someone who has been named both Commander of the Order of the British Empire – for Services to Dance, and one of the 1000 most Influential Londoners? Well look no further! Tonight or tomorrow get yourselves down to the Vancouver Playhouse to see FAR, choreographed by Wayne McGregor and danced by his company Random Dance. Wayne McGregor is one of the hottest choreographers of our times, and we are so very lucky to see his work here in Vancouver. Vancouver Playhouse, 8pm. Tix (photo Tristram Kentan)Wayne-McGregor-Random-Dan-006

You still have two more days to see local choreographer Judith Garay’s work 20 20 20 with her company Dancers Dancing. Celebrating 20 years of working in Vancouver, Garay looks at 20 intersections in the city to set 20 dancers in motion inspired by interactions of architecture, pigeons, overpasses, green spaces, mountain views, skateboards and especially the people old and young. Contrast and contradiction drive the work to be physically exhilarating and thoughtful, pedestrian and emotionally charged. September 26 and 27, Studio D, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 W. Hastings Street, Vancouver. TIx

Oh what will you choose? Also tonight and tomorrow night, Ballet Preljocaj (France) performs Empty moves (parts I, II & III) . Created by the company’s celebrated French choreographer Angelin Preljocaj, Empty moves (parts I, II & III) is set to the infamous 1977 recording of John Cage’s Empty words, when the minimalist composer calmly intoned radically abstracted text to an uncomprehending and increasingly raucous audience. Preljocaj’s choreographic response creates an ode to the abstract which exults in pure movement, as a quartet of superb dancers executes a flow of inexhaustible movement with absolute precision and technical skill. Spare, contemplative and sensual, this absorbing work unfolds as an elegant counterpoint to the turbulent score. At the ScotiaBank Dance Centre, 8pm. Tix

Always wanted to dance? Well here is your chance: join a diverse and dynamic group of Vancouverites for this free, fun, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with an internationally renowned choreographer and star in a memorable, outdoor spectacle! In January 2015 the PuSh Festival will present the Vancouver premiere of Le Grand Continental® by Montreal-based choreographer Sylvain Émard in an outdoor downtown Vancouver location. The exciting performance brings together more than 66 participants of all ages, ethnicities, dance experience and backgrounds to perform a contemporary re-imagining of a traditional line dance. If this seems like the opportunity you have been waiting for, you must attend a recruitment/information session where you can learn more about this project. The next round of recruitment sessions run October 14–18 in Vancouver! And remember - NO DANCE EXPERIENCE NECESSARY! For more info and to register go here.

 

Mind and Body–An Interview with Wayne McGregor, CBE

•September 23, 2014 • Leave a Comment

An edited extract from The new New by Ulrich Dietz.
waynemcgregorUlrich Dietz: I must confess that as an engineer I don’t really know what motivates a famous choreographer like you. Contemporary dance is not especially close to me.
Wayne McGregor: Why not? You have a body. That makes you perfectly qualified.

UD: Well, fine. I consider you innovative because you radically transcend the boundaries of your discipline – for example, by co-operating with neuroscientists. Why?
WM: Because I want to discover and understand how the mind and the body interact as an interconnected whole. My company Wayne McGregor | Random Dance and I have been experimenting intensely for nearly ten years with cognitive scientists who study this interaction. In classical ballet and modern dance, technique is still focused on physical training to the point of perfection. People concern themselves with virtuosity and controlling the body; the mind is essentially ignored. I completely reject this separation of mind and body. Fortunately, science is increasingly demonstrating how absurd this split is and addressing a notion of embodied cognition far more seriously. We are finding out more and more about how our imagination integrates emotion, sensation, memory, movement and language. We understand that there are techniques not only for training the body but also for enhancing creativity and stimulating a richer imagination.

UD: How?
WM: Artists often claim they work instinctively. This is only partially true. This so-called creative instinct is always integrated with our cognitive faculties.

UD: A concrete example would be helpful…
WM: Dance is essentially a collaborative art form; usually it requires other individuals to participate in the generation of the work. A choreographic process is an ideal example of distributed cognition. In a project at the University of California, San Diego, we investigated how ideas are disseminated (distributed) within a team. This led to some very interesting insights about how the creative process evolves, which in turn shaped our next creative process. We looked at some seminal questions: during a making process, which parts of an idea are retained by the group (or individual) and which parts are dropped? What mental models do we each develop when we improvise together? What forms of communication do we use to share, transform and vary the ideas and how is gesture, verbal language and sound utilised to embody the concepts? With a greater understanding of these issues we were able to recharge the choreographic process with a new framework and new points of departure. This is incredibly inspiring. Practically this means (as a concrete example) that the dancers and I now share a richer understanding of the distinctions made when we image-build, whether they be visual images, aural images or kinaesthetic images and how we work with them to generate dance. These distinctions can be practiced, explored and developed so you can generate more and more complicated relationships between the categories of image. This becomes a very dynamic creative resource or new technique.

UD: Can anyone learn that? Even someone who has no
dance training?
WM: Definitely. When I work with young dancers, the first thing I do is encourage them to trust their bodies. They should experience how wonderful it is to dance. How it feels to jump, to stretch out, to turn, to walk, to run. They can learn flawless pliés later. First you have to awaken the passion for dance; everything else will follow. Then you can seed these new creative techniques so they start to generate and choreograph their own dances – they find their own expressive voice rather than imitating one and re-discover themselves quite literally through dance.

UD: Can people of any age manage this passion?
WM: Of course, it doesn’t depend on age. More and more adults are attending dance classes in their free time; there are dance shows on television with public casting sessions and thousands of people register in the hope of being selected. But for me, the creative aspects of dance making are the key to self-discovery; it’s the integration of the visceral thrill of moving with the flight of the imagination. I believe the need to feel the body (and by body here I mean a fully embodied body) is increasing as our world becomes more virtual.

UD: Do audiences understand your radical choreography?
WM: Hmm, not an easy question. Certainly many of our audiences respond well to the work and its challenges for them in creating meaning. I think for them, meaning emerges from their active participation in the viewing. They are not looking to be simply entertained but they are looking to navigate the work themselves and engage with the questions it presents. For me, dance has not only an emotional dimension but also an intellectual one.

Part of the attraction to the work and by definition, the repulsion for some is the actual physical vocabulary the dancers execute, with its often abrupt, distorted, torsioned movement that seems alien to the body. But dysfunctional, damaged, traumatised bodies have always interested me a lot, precisely because they are not stereotyped. Learning to understand the beauty of this ‘other’ body language is something I consider very important to appreciating the work. For this you have to be open to a body misbehaving, a body not obeying the conventional rules of dancing and for some, this is too far an aesthetic stretch.

UD: What are creative competences?
WM: There are many creative competences including: encouraging active problem solving, developing an independence of thought and functioning, learning new ways of extracting information from things, using the body as an object to think with, exploring alternative decision making etc. These are competences we are actively training through our use of creative imagery tools and techniques in the studio. But it is just as important to understand how to generate opportunities to make mistakes. Creativity often comes at the point where you make a mistake. Then you make another, and another, and another… and at some point you suddenly make something original. At school we are usually taught to do the right thing, give the correct response, not the original thing; our creative impulses can be destroyed. That can include the ability to think independently, or to deal with a task differently today from how you did it yesterday. Creative minds understand their habitual patterns and seek to disrupt them, or at least continually invent new ones.

UD: What is your vision?
WM: My vision is to be open to new possibilities and ever curious. The fields of research outside the art world bear rich pickings for experimentation and knowledge transfer and to be creative is a resource we all can share.

Ulrich Dietz is founder and CEO of GFT Technologies AG.

The Friday Round Up

•September 19, 2014 • Leave a Comment

212324_1Only a week to go before Wayne McGregor|Random Dance hits town with FAR, season opener for DanceHouse! The Guardian of London says “There is material of heart-stopping beauty … the choreography is remarkable.” If you want to see for yourself, take a look at a video of FAR here.  And did you know that Wayne is the brainchild behind Thom Yorke’s convulsive choreography in Radiohead’s Lotus Flower video?  Fun stuff! So if don’t yet have your tickets to see this extraordinary choreographer in action, get them here and now! The show begins at 8pm, with a pre show chat at 7:15pm in the upstairs lobby of the Playhouse, Friday and Saturday September 26 and 27.

If your interest is piqued and you want to learn more about Wayne McGregor|Random Dance, Tuesday September 23 come out to our Speaking of Dance. Georgia Straight Arts Editor and Dance Critic Janet Smith will engage in a lively illustrated presentation on the work of this renowned choreographer. At the World Art Centre, SFU Woodwards, 7pm. FREE (Photo Ravi Deepres)

September 24-27 Dancers Dancing and SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs present the World Premiere DancersDancing: 20.20.20. Celebrating 20 years of working in Vancouver, choreographer  Judith Garay looks at 20 intersections in the city to set 20 dancers in motion inspired by interactions of  architecture, pigeons, overpasses, green spaces, mountain views, skateboards and especially the people – old and young. Contrast and contradiction drive the work to be physically exhilarating and thoughtful, pedestrian and emotionally charged. The artists have brought their experiences and observations back to studio, where it has been a process of utilizing pedestrian research and full body articulation to create beauty in otherwise mundane and overlooked aspects of city life. At the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, SFU Woodwards 8pm. Tix

Thursday and Friday September 25 and 26 the Dance Centre’s Global Connections brings us from France, Ballet Preljocaj  in Empty moves (parts I, II &

Ballet Preljocaj 960x480 pixels_fullwidthIII).  Created by the company’s celebrated French choreographer Angelin Preljocaj, Empty moves (parts I, II & III) is set to the infamous 1977 recording of John Cage’s Empty words, when the minimalist composer calmly intoned radically abstracted text to an uncomprehending and increasingly raucous audience. Preljocaj’s choreographic response creates an ode to the abstract which exults in pure movement, as a quartet of superb dancers executes a flow of inexhaustible movement with absolute precision and technical skill. Spare, contemplative and sensual, this absorbing work unfolds as an elegant counterpoint to the turbulent score. If you want to know more about this interesting work go here. At the Dance Centre, 8pm. Tix

 

 

 

 

 

 
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