The Friday Round Up

•April 29, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Happy International Dance Day! This video is from last year’s International Dance Day, but it is always fun to watch! And here is a little info about what is happening across Canada and Internationally to celebrate the love of dance! So make sure you get out to see something today – and get up and DANCE!

There are so many things to watch today, Friday, performances and open rehearsals and school shows – too many to mention here! But check out the Dance Centre website for details on all events.

Tonight and tomorrow night, April 29 and 30, the 2016 SFU Dance Grads present Promethean  An hour-long movement based mosaic celebrating the students’ time at SFU. Early adulthood is often seen as a seminal time in one’s evolution. There are moments of self-doubt, trials, triumphs, and everything in between on the road to self-actualization. This journey is explored through movement, sound, text, and lighting. At SFU Woodwards, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 8pm. Tix.

Continuing through Saturday, Les Productions Figlo presents Just Words. Inhabiting a space between poetic tale and personal reflection, Just Words is a choreographic journal sketching a portrait of both the profound and happy characteristics of an artistic life.Told through movement and poetry by Serge Bennathan, with powerful dance artists Karissa Barry and Hilary Maxwell, Just Words invites you into the life journey of an artist – a tale that weaves a colorful quilt of vitality, tears and laughter. At the Firehall Arts Centre, 8pm. Tix

Web Joel-Hanna-Kasandra-La-China2Sunday May 1, for one night only, Kasandra Flamenco and Caravan World Rhythms  present Encuentros – Passionate Percussive Dance Encounters, starring some of the world’s great dancers in Flamenco, Irish, Tap, and Egyptian Belly Dance! In a stunning display of romance, seduction, love and jealousy, Artistic Director Kasandra “La China” and International guest artists, Ricardo Lopez (Flamenco dancer, Madrid), Joel Hanna (Irish Tap Dancer, Vancouver/New York), and Egyptian Belly Dancer Ashley Kirkham, throw down the gauntlet and meet on the dance floor!  With powerhouse Flamenco singer, Vicente Griego, and live musicians playing Flamenco guitar and Cajon, Oud and Darbuka, the dance is showcased with profound musicality.  The beauty of lyrical dance and the power of percussion result in a dazzling presentation, full of drama, intensity and bravado.  Encuentros is at once a feast for the eyes, the ears and the soul! At the Vancouver Playhouse, 7:30pm. Tix.

May 5 – 7 The Dance Centre presents the Global Dance Connections series with Compagnie Thor | Thierry Smits (Belgium) in ReVoLt. Thierry Smits has been in the forefront of European dance for 25 years, choreographing innovative and frequently controversial works ranging from pure dance to outrageous performance art. ReVoLt echoes the ongoing citizen protest movements, especially those led by women, and considers the oppression of the body, the urge to resist, and the necessity of revolt. This stripped-down, obsessive solo was created for the explosive young Australian dancer Nicola Leahey, who delivers a performance of great physical and emotional commitment as she engages in a tightly wound conflict with herself, in an essay on power, struggle and liberation. At the Scotiabank Dance Centre, 8pm. Tix

May 5-7, the street-dance based Ouro Collective presents PACE + KALEIDO – check out a video of their work here. At Studio 1398, 1398 Cartwright St, Vancouver, 8pm and Sat May 7 at 2pm. Tix


The Friday Round Up

•April 22, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Happy Friday!

This coming Sunday April 24, the April edition of Dance Allsorts will present táctil (“tactile”), a new piece by Raices y Alas Flamenco. táctil explores the possibilities of percussive dance and the manipulation of sound using different surface mediums in a collaborative environment. The performance brings together four dancers: Andrea Williams, Michelle Harding, Maria Avila, and Dayna Szyndrowski, placing them on unexpected dance surfaces in order to explore a range of sonic texture in their footwork’s music. Created in collaboration between the four artists, and live musicians, the piece weaves together individual styles in a rhythmic synthesis, examining contemporary expressions of flamenco dance. 2PM Performance, followed by a Q&A with the artists. 3:15PM Free workshop, open to all ages and abilities. Workshop capacity is limited to 30 people. Register in advance to secure your spot. At the Evergreen Cultural Centre, Coquitlam. This show was presented last weekend in Vancouver, and sold out, so get your  tickets in advance!


Serge Bennathan, Hilary Maxwell and Karissa Barry. Photo Michael Slobodian

Wednesday April 27 to 30The Firehall Arts Centre presents Serge Bennathan and Les Productions Figlio in Just Words, the life journey of an artist, a tale that weaves a colourful quilt of vitality, tears and laughter. Inhabiting a space between poetic tale and personal reflection, Just Words is a choreographic journal sketching a portrait of both the profound and joyful characteristics of an artistic life. In this intimate piece, writer and choreographer Serge Bennathan confronts the duality of reality and dreams. Between these two worlds we find a sea of feelings, experiences, friendships and lessons learned, told through movement and poetry by Serge Bennathan, and powerful dance artists Karissa Barry and Hilary Maxwell. Read the interview with Karissa and Hilaryby Janet Smith of the Georgia Straight here. At the Firehall Arts Theatre, 8pm. Tix

We will tell you more about this next week, but mark your calendars because April 29 is International Dance Day, and there is lots happening!

The Friday Round Up

•April 15, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Lots to see this week – it’s like a burst of spring!

This coming Sunday April 17, as part of New Works’ Dance AllsortsRaices y Alas FlamencoMaria_Avila_0108
 Company, conceived by Andrea Williams as a platform for the exploration of the traditions of the art of flamenco and its contemporary expansion in Canada, presents táctil . táctil is a new piece  that explores the possibilities of percussive dance and the manipulation of sound using different surface mediums in a collaborative environment. The performance brings together four dancers: Andrea Williams, Michelle Harding, Maria Avila, and Dayna Szyndrowski, placing them on unexpected dance surfaces in order to explore a range of sonic texture in their footwork’s music. Created in collaboration between the four artists, and live musicians, the piece weaves together individual styles in a rhythmic synthesis, examining contemporary expressions of flamenco dance.Performances 2:00pm followed by a Q&A with the artists. Free workshops 3:15pm open to all ages and abilities
Workshop capacity is limited – register in advance to secure your spotPay-what-you-can at the door. Suggested $15 adults, $5 children under 12.Advance tickets for guaranteed seating available online at At the Roundhouse Community Centre.

The Dance Centre has this great program called 12 Minutes Max, which seeks to foster experimentation and the development of new work, along with critical feedback and community dialogue. On Tuesday April 19, this round’s artists Akeisha de Baat & Nathan Todd, Bevin Poole, Ahalya Satkunaratnam, Clare Twiddy will do studio showings of their work this far. It is a fantastic opportunity to see new creation from the Vancouver dance community! At the Scotiabank Dance Centre, 6pm. FREE!

April 20-23, Body Narratives Collective presents Ties That Bind,  a mixed evening programbody narratives of new dance, weaving personal anecdotes and family histories into a universal fabric. The work features a duet choreographed by Sarah Chase, and trio co-choreographed by Meghan Goodman and Julia Carr. Chase is known for expertly selecting stories and intricately braiding them with gestural movement patterns to create touching ‘dancestory’. Trio With You For The Long Haul examines subtle and obtuse dramatic tensions of sibling dynamics. Life inevitably includes love, loss, and change. Ties That Bind feeds our hunger to hear each other’s experiences and to be comforted by knowing that we are not alone. There are many ticket options and deals. At the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, 8pm.

Thursday April 21, in  the Dance Centre’s Discover Dance! presents Karen Flamenco. An innovative young company whose distinctive productions combine the technical brilliance of flamenco with dramatic flair, Karen Flamenco has captured the imagination of dance lovers of all ages. This performance intertwines spirited dancing, masterful storytelling, heart-stirring music, and ravishing costumes, to epitomize the thrilling passion of flamenco. At the Scotiabank Dance Centre, noon. Tix

The Friday Round Up

•April 8, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Oh sunny days – and it is still light when you go into the theatre for an 8pm show!

Dancehouse’s presentation of Companhia Urbana de Danca had us up dancing in the aisles last weekend! Check out the review here.

Tonight and tomorrow night, April 8 and 9,  you can still catch the  Royal Winnipeg Ballet‘s  production Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation. Sponsored by the  Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada the work speaks of the tragic history of our First Nations and residential schools.  Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation explores the world of Annie, a young, urban First Nations woman adrift in a contemporary life of youthful excess. But when she meets Gordon, a longhaired trickster disguised as a homeless man, she’s propelled into a world she’s always sensed but never seen. Not only do they travel the streets of this place but also the roads of their ancestors, learning to accept the other’s burdens as the two walk through the past and toward the future. Together, both Annie and Gordon learn that without truth, there is no reconciliation. Janet Smith of the Georgia Straight writes about the piece here. At the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 8pm. Tix  Photo Samata Katz


Also tonight and tomorrow night April 8 and 9, SFU Repertory Dancers  present 4 Views featuring new choreography by Sarah Chase, MAYCE Collective, Judith Garay and Heather Meyers, performed by advanced SFU dance students. It is an evening full of newly created works! Internationally known performer and choreographer Sarah Chase, Iris Garland guest choreographer, has created a premiere for the full group of 18 dancers. Heather Myers, alumna of Netherlands Dance Theatre, will premiere  9 studies of unheard things, a detailed and sumptuous work full of changes in dynamics and undulating, unimaginable isolations. It is a delight of invention and sophistication set to Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suite No. 2 in D Minor. The Exquisite Corpse by MAYCE Collective (Robert Azevedo, Marisa Gold, Antonio Somera, graduates of SFU’s Contemporary Arts dance program), utilizes surprising costuming, extensive partnering and draws on dream landscapes to create a physically charged and dynamic work. SFU MFA composer Matt Horrigan has created new music to accompany the dance. Finally, faculty member Judith Garay offers a work that both reflects on the past and looks into the future exploiting contrasting speeds, multiple energies and overlapping perspectives. It strives to seek the place between remembering and forgetting. $15 general/$5  students and seniors, at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, SFU Woodwards, 8pm. Tix

The Friday Round Up

•March 25, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Kind of a quiet week this coming week. Happy long weekend to you all!

urbana2-master675Continuing in the tradition of bringing fabulous, energetic and entertaining Brazilian contemporary  dance companies to town, DanceHouse presents Companhia Urbana de Dança April 1 and 2. Founded in Brazil in 2004/2005 by dancer Tiago Sousa and choreographer and Artistic Director Sonia Destri Lie, Companhia Urbana de Dança is an ensemble of street performers working to foster the human experience through dance. Destri’s experience traveling through Europe for work in theater and film exposed her to hip-hop and b-boy techniques. Highly influenced by Brazilian street forms, she began to integrate these techniques into her already established contemporary movement sensibility. Pulling from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro where many of her company members grew up, Companhia Urbana de Dança aims to transcend cultural boundaries, while showcasing eclectic skill sets. This poetic and explosive company stuns with stamina-testing solos and jaw-dropping group movement that defies the limits of physicality while retaining choreographic rigor. Alternately mesmerizing and rippling with adrenaline and raw energy, these two works explore the cultural roots of Brazil and the gritty life stories of the dancers themselves. To find out more, check out the video from Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival. At the Vancouver Playhouse, 8pm. Tix

Not a performance, but a fantastic opportunity to be a part of the discussion involving thought provoking issues in the world of dance, On Tuesday March 29 DanceHouse presents Speaking of Dance on the theme Women Dancemakers – where are they? Join us in a roundtable conversation about women choreographers with: Deborah Meyers (freelance dance writer, Vancouver Sun) – moderator, Justine A. Chambers (Vancouver-based independent choreographer), Judith Garay (Simon Fraser University), and Kim Sato (Vancouver-based independent choreographer). At SFU Woodwards, 7pm FREE

The Friday Round Up

•March 11, 2016 • Leave a Comment

You know the Chutzpah! Festival really does bring us an amazing array of dance. On that note, this Friday March 11 through Sunday March 13, Gallim Dance returns to Chutzpah! with the Canadian Premiere of WONDERLAND. Gallim Dance is a highly sought-after New York City based dance company that creates and performs worldwide original work by artistic director and founder Andrea Miller. The award-winning work, ensemble of dancers, and fearless physicality is grounded by deep humanity and expressed through the madness and joy of the imagination. WONDERLAND is inspired by Chinese-born artist Cai Guo-Qiang’s installation Head On, whose work depicts 99 wolves charging into a glass wall and investigates pack mentality as an inherent and potentially dangerous element of human instinct. Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre, Friday 3pm, Saturday 8pm and Sunday 7:30pm. Tix 

And speaking of bringing fantastic dance to Vancouver, the Vancouver International Dance Festival (VIDF) continues this weekend with shows from EDAM and Memory Wax/Retazos. Friday and Saturday March 11/12 EDAM presents The Secret Life of Trees, a work by Artistic Director Peter Bingham, who says of the work: ” My interest in this subject is a direct reflection of living here in the west coast rain forest. Do trees have senses? I have discovered that the underground is where the forest finds its connectivity. The uniformity of the forest above ground gives the impression that each tree stands alone. In fact, they are linked by communicating through intricate entwining root systems.” At the Roundhouse Performance Centre, 8pm. Tix

Retazos-Memorywax-48Tonight and tomorrow night, Swedish company Memory Wax collaborates with Cuban Danza Teatro Retazos present two works. Possible Impossible takes off from a landscape where the known laws of time, space and power have ceased to be valid. Imagine an associative world of magic, dreams and absurd impressions – where one dream relieves the next, and you fall, fly and balance between reality and fantasy. In this surprising world of dreams the door opens to other universes, where the mind is free and the impossible becomes possible. Crisálida  explores the need to belong and be part of a community while juxtaposing the desire for freedom. With contemporary dance as a base, elements of pantomime, hip hop and folklore are visited as contrasting characters emerge. Everyday scenes are enhanced in a constantly changing dream-world where memories and desires are intertwined. Crisálida is a performance about belonging and identity portrayed with humor and poetry. Take a look at the video here. At the Vancouver Playhouse, 8pm. Tix

Also as part of VIDF, tickets are selling fast for Company 605  March 17-19. Vital Few is a 08-vitalfewsmnew work that has taken two years in the making, with twelve dance artists involved at various points throughout the process. The company says about the piece: “Born out of a desire to redefine our way of co-existing, this process began by questioning what we needed from each other in order to feel as one… It is about acknowledging the effort and personal sacrifice it takes to make togetherness work, and how as individuals, we cannot help but be transformed in some way through this experience, no matter how brief. … Through our experiments we searched to find moments that sparked something in us, as makers and as humans, and we arrived at a place where dancing together feels somewhere new.” At the Roundhouse Performance Centre, 8pm. Talkback Thursday show. Tix.

And as if there were not already enough to do, there is one more to add to your calendar! Thursday March 17 through Saturday March 19, Ballet BC presents a new work full length work by Medhi Walerski. This world premiere builds on the themes Walerski established with Prelude, seen on our stage in 2014, and celebrated for its poetic, complex, imaginative, and unpredictable choreographic language. It begins with the question of how to balance order and chaos; the individual and the collective. In explosive and dynamic contrast, the work will also look at the human need for celebration – be it a birth, a death, a change in history, or a reunion. Celebrations, and the energy they create through dance, life, and art will permeate the theatre with sublime poetry, blurring the lines between the audience and the stage. Check out a video here. At the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 8pm. Tix


The Friday Round Up

•March 4, 2016 • Leave a Comment

foutrement-compagnie-virginie-brunelle-photo-nicholas-minnsWow – we don’t know about you, but the power of Betroffenheit continues to echo…

This is the month of the Vancouver International Dance Festival, and there is so much to see. There really is something for everyone here, and there are some great shows FREE at the Roundhouse and at SFU Woodwards! Tonight and tomorrow March 4 & 5, Compagnie Virginie Brunelle (Quebec) presents Foutrement. Foutrement explores infidelity: men and women at the mercy of temptation and primal instincts. Three dancers—a man and two women, in love, ripped apart, wounded, betrayed—move with racked bodies, sagging under the weight of Love’s disillusionment. A string of scenes expertly interwoven by light and music, Foutrement draws its inspiration from classical dance, yet is unashamedly contemporary. At times lyrical, at times agitated and choppy, Virginie Brunelle’s work is always physically powerful and remarkably emotive. At the Roundhouse Community Centre, 8pm. Tix. Photo credit Virginie Brunelle

Continuing until March 6, the 2016 Coastal First Nations Dance Festival provides an opportunity for First Nations artists to share and support one another in a celebration of lived traditions, bringing recognition to their unique cultures. It is only when stories, songs and dances are performed in full regalia that one gains a complete understanding of the purpose and meaning of northwest coast art. By witnessing these traditions our audiences will see that First Nations culture and arts are alive and vibrant.For the full program go here and for tickets for both daytime and evening performances here. All shows at the UBC Museum of Anthropology.

Continuing until March 5, To Colour Thought is a mixed program of new contemporary dance works by Action at a Distance, the company of choreographer Vanessa Goodman. With an incredible cast of performers backed by an innovative artistic team, these works promise to be an exciting tapestry of movement and sound. Goodman’s thoughtful work strives to be a spectacle and has been praised by The Georgia Straight for its “thrilling visual magic.” At the Shadbolt Centre, Burnaby 8pm. Tix.

maria_kong_-_open_photo_by_ascafMarch 5, 6 and 7, the Chutzpah! Festival continues with Maria Kong in OPEN SOURCE. Some of you may remember Maria Kong at last year’s Chutzpah! when they presented their incredible multi-media show at a Vancouver night club. OPEN SOURCE is a dance experience full of passion, drama and humour, created and performed with wireless digital gloves controlling sound and light, enabling seamless synchronization of sound and movement. Maria Kong is truly interdisciplinary, attracting dancers, video professionals, musicians, and other creators from all over the world. At the Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre, 8pm Saturday and Monday, 7:30pm Sunday. Tix.  Photo by Ascaf.

Next Thursday March 10The Dance Centre  presents as part of their  Discover Dance! series, Lorita Leung Dance Company. The Lorita Leung Dance Company is regarded as one of Canada’s leading Chinese performance groups, producing spectacular shows which illustrate the diversity and beauty of Chinese dance. From the grace and poise of the classical style to the joyful vitality of ethnic folk dances, the company will take you on a journey through Chinese culture. Scotiabank Dance Centre, noon. Tix.




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