2005-2006 Season press release

Holistic approach to BC dance nurtures creativity and diversity

The Dance Centre's season: fall 2005 into 2006

Creativity and diversity are the hallmarks of The Dance Centre's 2005-2006 season, which displays its uniquely holistic approach to dance in programs which range from accessible public events such as the Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House and the Discover Dance! noon series, to the major biennial showcase Dance In Vancouver and professional development projects for dance artists. Established in 1986 as a resource centre for dance artists and the public in British Columbia, The Dance Centre has grown into a multifaceted organization whose scope of activities is unparalleled in Canadian dance and include programs and events; operation of Scotiabank Dance Centre, Canada's flagship dance facility; promotion of BC dance and the development of new audiences; and support for the dance profession.

Events

The season opens with the fourth annual Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House (September 17), a day of open classes, workshops, events and facility tours. The Open House culminates in a performance of contemporary and traditional dance by Chinese and Canadian artists in honour of the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, featuring Toronto-based Peking Opera exponent William Lau; Wen Wei Wang and Peter Bingham; students of the Chen Ling Academy of Dance; and Ballet BC dancer Chengxin Wei's company Moving Dragon.

The popular Discover Dance! series returns for another run of monthly noon shows (September-May, no show in Dec) featuring accessible introductions to flamenco, contemporary, swing, and Middle Eastern dance amongst other styles with performers including Flamenco Rosario, Arts Umbrella Dance Company and Mandala Arts and Culture. Diverse and accessible dance events are also an annual feature atInternational Dance Day (April 29).

The fifth edition of Dance In Vancouver takes place November 14-20. This signature biennial event showcases contemporary dance by BC based companies and attracts regional, national and international presenters of dance, as well as enthusiastic local audiences. Companies scheduled to perform include EDAM/Wen Wei Wang, The Holy Body Tattoo, MovEnt and Emily Molnar. Dance in Vancouver has been instrumental in building the visibility of Vancouver's dance scene on the international stage and building connections around the world, and includes roundtable discussions for artists and presenters as well as studio presentations and public events.

New contemporary work by emerging artists is platformed through two Dance Centre programs, each taking place twice a year: Pulse (October 28 & 29) provides presentation support for mixed programs of dance works; the October edition will feature work by James Gnam, Lina Fitzner and Donald Sales. Now in its eleventh year, Twelve Minutes Max (December 13 & 14) is presented in partnership with the Firehall Arts Centre and showcases new works lasting twelve minutes or less from dance, theatre and other disciplines.

The Development of Dance

A crucial component of The Dance Centre's work takes place away from the public eye, with programs supporting the professional development of choreographers. The Artist-in-Residence program enables artists to undertake activities over an extended period of time, which may include combinations of creation, teaching, performance and outreach. This season's five Artists-in-Residence are:

Wen Wei Wang, developing a major CanDance Network commission to tour across Canada, with his company Wen Wei Dance; Paras Terezakis, Artistic Director of Kinesis Dance, creating The Orestes Project, a Greek/Romanian/Canadian co-production, with performances scheduled for summer 2006; aerial dance performer Julia Taffe, creating a new work for her company Aeriosa to premiere in 2006; the innovative site-specific choreographer Carolyn Deby of Sirens Crossing (originally from Vancouver and now based in the UK), developing a new work for the 2006 Dancing on the Edge festival; and Chick Snipper of DSB (DanStaBat), developing a new work. Each choreographer will be supported with rehearsal time at Scotiabank Dance Centre, and will undertake outreach activities with specific communities.

DanceLab is an interdisciplinary research program providing fully subsidized studio space for a two-week period of research and experimentation between dance artists and those from other disciplines, culminating in an informal studio showing for other dance professionals. This season's DanceLab participants are: Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg (with dramaturge Sophie Yendole and composer Marc Stewart; the same artists will work in a mentorship capacity with emerging artist Barbara Murray); Emily Molnar (with musician Boris Sichon and the Israeli acapella musical group Vocal 8); Crystal Pite (with composer Owen Belton); and Denise Lonewalker (with other Aboriginal artists working in the fields of storytelling, theatre and literature).

Other professional development opportunities include workshops across the year, beginning with the great German dance icon Susanne Linke (in partnership with Lola Dance) September 6-10, and ongoing information sessions in areas ranging from grant writing and touring to marketing and fundraising. The annual Isadora Awards, celebrating the achievements of BC dance artists, will be presented in April, and submission guidelines announced for the second Iris Garland Emerging Choreographer Award, to be presented in 2007.

"We are very proud of the scope and quality of our season, and of The Dance Centre's unique and integral role in the development of dance in BC," says Mirna Zagar, Executive Director of The Dance Centre. "And we are excited to be spearheading a dance model in this province which is unparalleled in Canada; indeed, our role models are international - Dance Theater Workshop in New York, The Place in London, the Suzanne Dellal Centre in Tel Aviv. Their acknowledged experience in supporting artists and building audiences helps to guide how we develop our own infrastructure for dance, one which is unique and specific to the environment of Vancouver and BC."

Calendar of Public Events

September 17 Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House. 11am-5pm, performance 8pm. Performance tickets $15/$10 fromwww.ticketstonight.ca

September 29 Discover Dance! Canadian Swing (West Coast swing), 12 noon. Tickets $8/$6 from Festival Box Office, 604 257 0366.

October 27 Discover Dance! Arab Women, Arab Dance (Middle Eastern) 12 noon. Tickets $8/$6 from Festival Box Office, 604 257 0366.

October 28-29 Pulse James Gnam, Lina Fitzner, Donald Sales. 8pm. Tickets $15/$12 from Festival Box Office, 604 257 0366.

November 14-20 Dance In Vancouver. Tickets from Festival Box Office, 604 257 0366.

November 24 Discover Dance! Historical Performance Ensemble 12 noon. Tickets $8/$6 from Festival Box Office, 604 257 0366.

December 13-14 Twelve Minutes Max (At the Firehall Arts Centre) 8pm. Tickets $10 from 604 689 0926.

January 26 Discover Dance! Flamenco Rosario (flamenco) 12 noon. Tickets $8/$6 from Festival Box Office, 604 257 0366.

February 23 Discover Dance! Violet Moore School of Irish Dance, 12 noon. Tickets $8/$6 from Festival Box Office, 604 257 0366.

March 30 Discover Dance! Sharon Wehner Dance (contemporary) 12 noon. Tickets $8/$6 from Festival Box Office, 604 257 0366.

April 27 Discover Dance! Arts Umbrella Dance Company (contemporary ballet) 12 noon. Tickets $8/$6 from Festival Box Office, 604 257 0366.

April 29 International Dance Day various locations

May 25 Discover Dance! Mandala Arts and Culture Society (classical East Indian) 12 noon. Tickets $8/$6 from Festival Box Office, 604 257 0366.

Information: 604 606 6400 www.thedancecentre.ca

All events are at Scotiabank Dance Centre677 Davie StreetVancouver except where specified.

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Media contact: Heather Bray, Marketing Manager T 604 606 6412 F 604 606 6401 marketing@thedancecentre.ca

The operations of The Dance Centre are supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council, and the City of Vancouver through the Office of Cultural Affairs. Programs are also supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage, and the Province of BC through the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch.

The Discover Dance! series is also supported by the Hamber Foundation. Media sponsors: Channel M, CBC Radio 1 & 2, and the VancouverCourier.

Official hotel sponsor: the Holiday Inn Vancouver Downtown Hotel & Suites

The Dance Centre
Level 6, 677 Davie Street , Vancouver BC V6B 2G6 Tel 604 606 6400 www.thedancecentre.ca