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Event | Dance In Vancouver

Dance In Vancouver 2021

13th biennial edition

A program of curated conversations, provocations and encounters celebrating Vancouver’s vibrant contemporary dance community. This edition fully embraces the times that we are in and allows for innovative experimentation and inquiry into how we create, view and disseminate dance in a digital world. Dance In Vancouver includes IndigeDIV, which is co-produced in partnership with Raven Spirit Dance and celebrates the unique worldview and perspective that Indigenous artists bring to the global conversation.

Scroll down for full details.
Schedule at a Glance
Presenters, register here.

“Why gather? Why witness? Why dance?”
READ THE CURATORIAL STATEMENT

Angela Conquet, Guest International Curator, Melbourne, Australia
Michelle Olson & Starr Muranko, Guest Co-Curators, Raven Spirit Dance, Vancouver, Canada

  • Wednesday November 24 - Sunday November 28, 2021

  • Various locations

  • Scroll down for details, to book tickets and register for events

Program of Events

KEYNOTE DIALOGUES

WELCOME TO DANCE IN VANCOUVER + OPENING KEYNOTE DIALOGUE
Wednesday November 24 | 3-4.30pm
WATCH ONLINE
with Co-Curators Angela Conquet, Starr Muranko and Michelle Olson; Mirna Zagar, Executive Director, The Dance Centre
Welcome to Territory by Senaqwila Wyss
A sharing of two short films by Sierra Tasi Baker: K’ayáchten – A Poem on Belonging and X̱wex̱wiy̓úsem – to tell a story; tell a legend.
A short film by Tasha Faye Evans: Cedar Woman: The Prayer.
Film credits

followed by
WHERE WE STAND with Dalisa Pigram (Australia) and Yvette Nolan (Canada)
This opening keynote dialogue brings in conversation two leading Indigenous thinkers: Broome-based choreographer Dalisa Pigram (Yawuru/Bardi) and  playwright, director, and dramaturg Yvette Nolan (Algonquin). Dalisa and Yvette will be discussing the Indigenous dramaturgies guiding them in their work and life and will be inviting DIV audiences to consider what it might mean to (really)  listen, to (truly) belong and to connect to the lands that hold our (dancing) feet.
This keynote is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and is proudly supported by the Consulate General of Canada Sydney.

CLOSING KEYNOTE DIALOGUE
WHAT WE CARRY with Margaret Grenier (Canada) and Charles Koroneho (New Zealand)
Sunday November 28 | 7.30-8.30pm
WATCH ONLINE
This closing keynote dialogue brings together Margaret Grenier (Gitxsan/Cree) of Dancers of Damelahamid and Charles Koreneho (Māori) to discuss how dance is an act of living in legacy.  In the ‘unraveling’ of our understanding of who and what we are as a sector,  this conversation lands in a place of Indigenous process and perception, offering us to drop deeper into the meaning of why we dance, how we carry it and how it carries us.
Followed by a closing statement from the DIV curators.

TICKETED PERFORMANCES

DUMB INSTRUMENT DANCE
MADE IN VOYAGE
Wednesday-Saturday November 24-27 & December 1-4 | 5pm + 7pm nightly
Morrow, 336 West Pender St
TICKETS

A triad of solos that are odes to the performers’ grandmothers, featuring Ziyian Kwan, Shion Skye Carter, and Justin Calvadores. Each of these collaboratively created works counter historic erasure by highlighting the life stories of womxn of colour, portrayed through the memories of their grandchildren. The solos are at times delightfully anecdotal and at other times epic in their reveal of dramas related to diaspora, war and peace. Expect an undulating collage that reflects on nurturing and resilience.

Very limited capacity: this show is designed for micro-audiences of up to 5 per performance
Co-produced with Powell Street Festival

THE BITING SCHOOL
ORANGUTANG (premiere)
Wednesday-Saturday November 24-27 & December 1-4 | 7pm
Russian Hall, 600 Campbell Avenue
Limited seating
TICKETS

The Biting School draws on history, literature and philosophy to interrogate challenging social and political issues. The company’s work translates the anxiety, trauma and beauty of our time into the language of the body in no-holds-barred theatrical works full of physicality, daring ideas and dark humour. Orangutang (Malay for ‘the man of the forest’) is a provocative new solo choreographed and performed by Arash Khakpour.

Presented with The Biting School

DOUBLE BILL
KELLY MCINNES: BLUE SPACE
MAHAILA PATTERSON-O’BRIEN: MID-LIGHT: A TRANSLUCENT MEMORY 
Friday November 26 | 8pm
Scotiabank Dance Centre, 677 Davie St
TICKETS

In Blue Space, Kelly McInnes explores our intrinsic connection to water – the water that makes up our bodies and the world we inhabit. Full of startling imagery, this deeply-felt solo explores tensions be-tween the healing and the exploitation involved in our relationship to earth, and remembers what we’re made of.

Mahaila Patterson O-Brien’s choreography revolves around form and abstract gestures through the use of unison, repetition, and complex patterns, while projections and sound reveal softer internal worlds. Danced by Eowynn Enquist and Isak Enquist, this work is a score-based re-imagining of a piece initially made for film and stage – an attempt to grasp an idea that is endlessly shifting and dis-solving into new forms.

TASHA FAYE EVANS
CEDAR WOMAN (work in process)
Saturday November 27 | 8pm
Annex, 823 Seymour Street
Tickets $20
TICKETS

Cedar Woman is a tribute to a legacy of strong and resilient Coast Salish women spanning all the way back to a tree. Created by Tasha Faye Evans in collaboration with artist Ocean Hyland, it is a solo about protecting what we know from the depth of our soul to be sacred. This profound and emotionally stirring work is based around a mask, held in a box carved from an ancient yellow cedar, as Evans prepares to dance Cedar Woman’s spirit.

FREE EVENTS

ACTION AT A DISTANCE + TANGAJ COLLECTIVE
Installation: BLOT – BODY LINE OF THOUGHT
Wednesday-Sunday November 24-28 | 1-4pm
KW Studios, 10-111 West Hastings St Free: drop in and stay as long as you wish

Conceived by Vancouver’s Vanessa Goodman in collaboration with Romanian dance artist Simona Deaconescu, BLOT – Body Line of Thought is an interdisciplinary creation which explores movement in relation to the bacteria in our bodies. It aims to strip the body of social meanings and rethink it as an interconnected system, strong and fragile at the same time, co-existing with a multitude of micro-organisms. This special four-channel installation incorporates video, sound, text and movement, to create an immersive experience full of bold ideas and pristine beauty.

Includes nudity
Duration: 42 minutes (looped)
Concept and choreography: Simona Deaconescu, Vanessa Goodman | Artistic consultant: Olivia Nițiș | Music: Monocube | Object design: Bucharest: Ciprian Ciuclea, Vancouver: Paula Viitanen Aldazosa, Juan Carlos Aldazosa Bazúa | Light design: Bucharest: Alexandros Raptis | Assistant choreographer: Georgeta Corca | Production: Laura Trocan

ANOUK FROIDEVAUX
Installation: LAMENT FOR A DYING WORLD
Wednesday-Sunday November 24-28 | 2-5pm (starting at 00, 15, 30, 45 minutes past each hour)
Lobe Studio, 713 East Hastings St
Free

Anouk Froidevaux’s experimental dance film weaves together a poetic narrative, incorporating movement, voice, sound and imagery to perform a contemporary lament. The film touches on themes related to mental health and its intergenerational impact, while looking at the climate crisis. It uses the art of lament to grieve our fractured relationship with the natural world and heal the wounded aspects within one’s own psyche through reconnecting with nature.

Duration: 10 minutes 
Direction, Original performance, text & vocals: Anouk Froidevaux | Cinematography: Daniel Froidevaux | Video Editing: Milena Salazar | Sound Design: Sérgio Milhano

MASCALLDANCE
LURCH
Saturday-Sunday November 27-28 | 11am
SFU Woodward’s Atrium
Free

Lurch (working title) explores a body and an inanimate object. The inanimate object: a large sculpture by BC artist Alan Storey, originally commissioned by MascallDance in 2010. The bodies:five dancers, who span four decades in age and bring diverse dance roots to the project, from ballet and contact improvisation to drag, street, contemporary dance, and vogue. And four commissioned choreographers: each an investigator by nature, known nationally for their mature work, big ideas, and a powerful knack for talking about dance.

Duration: 60 minutes
Choreography: Sarah Chase, Justine Chambers, Ame Henderson, Jennifer Mascall | Sculpture: Alan Storey | Performers: Chris Wright, Benjamin Kamino, Ralph Escamillan, Nick Benz, and Bennet Tracz | Production Management: Tobias Macfarlane

DANCE WEST NETWORK: RE-CENTERING/MARGINS CREATIVE RESIDENCY
STUDIO SHOWING AND CONVERSATION

Saturday November 27 | 4pm
Scotiabank Dance Centre, 677 Davie St
Free: REGISTER

Dance West Network’s 3rd annual Re-Centering/Margins Creative Residency provides opportunities and professional development for emerging dance artists of colour to create contemporary performance works. This showing and conversation will feature works in progress by Jennifer Aoki, Nick Miami Benz, and Sophie Dow.

Presented in partnership with Dance West Network.

DANCES FOR UNUSUAL TIMES

COVID has affected the very DNA of dance – no dance is possible without movement, without touch, without breath. In many ways, the ‘spectacle’ is over. A return to normal would be a failure of imagination. We have invited a few artists to reflect and respond to these unusual times with imaginings of new rituals of coming together, of building community, of witnessing art. Join in with care, attention and intention and keep an eye out for the many ways they will be inviting you to see, feel, be.

P. MEGAN ANDREWS
THE DISORIENTATION PROJECT
Wednesday-Sunday November 24-28 | 10am-4pm, concentrated practice 11am-12 noon
Roundhouse Community Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews
Free: drop in and stay as long as you wish

In the disorientation project, artist and scholar P. Megan Andrews enters into practices of perceptual disorientation in movement, sound and spoken word, resisting the impulse to re-orient and re-stabilize. Visitors are invited to witness her practices on location in and around the Roundhouse. You will receive instructions for how to engage. Encounter various objects, process documents and multimedia materials. Chat with Andrews about the work. Share a response to go into the ongoing project archive/document. Andrews invites us to consider the question: How can experiences of disorientation open ways towards more ethical relations?

Creator/Performer: P. Megan Andrews | [Facing, East?] Gesture Sequence: Sarah Chase | Video Projection Elements: Angela Joosse | Dramaturges/Creative Consultants: Angela Joosse, Natalia Esling, Michelle Olson, Tedd Robinson. In partnership with the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre.

JUSTINE A CHAMBERS
STEADY
Friday-Sunday November 26-28 | 3.45-4.45pm
Progress Lab 1422, 1422 William St
Free: REGISTER

Steady considers the act of rocking as a dance that can be performed by everybody. Regardless of size, scale, spatial orientation or energy exerted, the rock is a whole and joyous dance that can tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, encouraging the alleviation of pain and depression by triggering the brain to release endorphins. Steady houses an archive of scores, videos and instructions for rocking both submitted by the public and sourced privately. Visitors are invited to drop in and observe the creation process, and to submit their own ‘rocks’ to the archive.

ZAHRA SHAHAB
AL-FATTAH: WHEN I BOW, I SEE THE OPENING (work in process)
Thursday November 25 | 5pm + Friday November 26 | 6pm
Scotiabank Dance Centre, 677 Davie St
Free: REGISTER

A new choreographic work (in process) created and performed by Zahra Shahab. It is a journey into the interior space of body memory and emergence as she listens to the history of Islamic prayer rituals in her bones and tethers them to compassionate intimacy with her flesh. It is a work about sitting back-to-back with the bound knot of her sensuality, tied up through patriarchal culture and religion, and gently rocking until an opening appears. It is a queering of ablutions – entering through the gate of the body, with all its desires, grief, bacteria, and secretions, into a place of worship. Al-Fattah is one of the 99 names of Allah which means “The Opener.”

Duration: 30 minutes

LEE SU-FEH (BATTERY OPERA) 
TOUCH ME HOLD ME LET ME GO
In person: Saturday November 27 | 10am-12 noon
Scotiabank Dance Centre, 677 Davie St
Free: REGISTER

Online: Sunday November 28 | 1-3pm
Free: REGISTER

Touch Me Hold Me Let Me Go
An algorithm for dancing with the planet.
An algorithm for dancing with your beloved.
An algorithm for dancing from enough-ness.
To practice love in the midst of distress,
To practice care in the midst of distress

In this part lecture, part listening-gathering, Lee Su-Feh will talk about the algorithm they have been developing for the past several years and offer instructions on how to use it – in dance or in life. This algorithm is Lee’s counterpoint to the opaque digital algorithms that increasingly mediate human-to-human interactions. The algorithm will be shared through two different channels: digitally on Zoom, and in-person**. The algorithm is open to everyone who is curious about the human body and how it moves in the world: no dance (or IT) experience required.

**You are invited to attend the in-person gathering with someone in your “touch” bubble so you may try the algorithm with a partner. This is optional and attendees are equally welcome to attend solo.

CO.ERASGA
OFFERING
Saturday November 27 | 3pm
SFU Woodward’s Atrium
Free

How do our bodies relate, move and dance at this critical time of pandemic adversity? Offering is a collection of solo works created by Alvin Erasga Tolentino for seven dancers, which explores movement as a form of devotion and prayer – allowing the dance to transcend with luminous energy. In this specially-devised site-specific, durational event, Offering becomes a performance ritual, evoking a spiritual reach for universal interconnection, awareness, and healing for the world.

Choreographer: Alvin Erasga Tolentino | Composer Emmanuel Mailly | Dancers: Hannah Richard, Joshua Ongcol, Olivia Shaffer, Antonio Somera, Alvin Erasga Tolentino, Marc Arboleda and Marissa Wong.

KRISTEN LEWIS
CHORA: GRAPHIA (REVERBERATIONS) 

Meditating on the roots of the word “choreography” in the Greek word for space (chora) and writing (graphia), Kristen Lewis facilitates an improvisational practice of shared writing in response to the Dance In Vancouver program, inviting audiences to reflect, in brief written notes, on the events. The results of will be posted in physicalized form at Scotiabank Dance Centre and online, creating an evolving record that speaks to the surprising, unplanned networks of connections—we might call these connective tissues—between the shows, between audience’s own lived realities in this moment, and between resonances that the space itself awakens between us and the wider world.

___

SPHERES
Morrow, 336 West Pender
Email members[at]thedancecentre[dot]ca to book
Very limited capacity for in-person events

Kinesthetic Strike A circle discussion led by Daisy Thompson in conversation with guest speakers, guided around the idea of rehearsal as a way to imagine, practice and disseminate joyful, positive and durable relationships.

Centered around the concerns of the disproportionate and fatiguing labour of artists, when our art processes and practices are so closely entwined with the art market, this circle discussion will discuss how dance rehearsal – including the creation of the spaces to rehearse, and the advocacy of the conditions to work – can contribute to healthier connections through interdependent relationships of care.

Sunday November 28 | 2:30-4PM with Ziyian Kwan & Jessica Wadsworth. In person or via Zoom.
Monday November 29 | 3-5PM with Justine A. Chambers, Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg & Deanna Peters.

Our Vancouver Dance History/ies: A Salon hosted by Peter Dickinson and Joyce Rosario
Join Peter and Joyce in conversation as they discuss and reflect upon the past decade of dance history as covered in Peter’s recent book My Vancouver Dance History: Story, Movement, Community. Where does your story of Vancouver dance intersect? Expect impromptu readings, surprise guests, discussion prompts and activities to share your Vancouver dance history. Drop by to purchase a book (debit only), share a beverage, and browse the items for sale as part of Morrow’s amazing collection of artist wares.

Sunday December 5 | 12-4PM
This is a durational event with limited capacity. Book for one of the following timeslots: 12-1PM, 1:30-2:30PM, 3-4PM.

SCRIBE
Scribe is a live writing process creating a democratic document of the live event. It is designed and led by Australian artist Leisa Shelton/FRAGMENT31 with artists assembled in each city (in Vancouver, Kristen Lewis and Avery Smith) it is invited to attend. Edition #15 is the first remote version of the project. Audiences at selected events will be invited to participate with Scribes in Australia via phone link, and consider – “What was your experience this evening?” All documents gathered are made into a publicly accessible archive.

ONLINE EVENTS AND CONVERSATIONS

DIGITAL DIV
Wednesday November 24-Saturday December 4
Streaming on demand
Tickets $15: BUY TICKETS

A selection of Dance In Vancouver performances and associated films and events will also be available online. The films will become available on November 24 at 10am, and will be up for viewing on demand until December 4 at 5pm. Some will be available immediately, and others will be added during DIV, so check back to make sure you see everything!

The program includes: Co.ERASGA | Dance West Network studio showing | Future Leisure | Jeanette Kotowich |  MascallDance | Sierra Tasi Baker | Tasha Faye Evans | Opening + Closing Keynotes

PRESENTING DANCE REGIONALLY
Wednesday November 24 | 5-6.30pm
Free: online via Zoom. REGISTER 

Australian and Canadian dance presenters seem to share many realities and challenges related to touring contemporary dance in regional or remote areas in both Canada and Australia. This dialogue will be an opportunity to discuss success stories, struggles and ambitions, and compare artists’ and audiences’ experiences.  How do we cultivate interest and increase greater literacy for contemporary dance? What kind of pre- or post-show audience engagement could be imagined? How to cultivate a longer term relationship to an artist often in passing? These are some of the directions that will be shared this panel bringing in dialogue presenters and artist-presenters.
With Holly Bright, Miriam Colvin, Karma Lacoff (CAN) and Annette Carmichael, Louisa Norman and Simon Hinton (AUS), facilitated by Jane Gabriels.
In partnership with Dance West Network and with support from Australia Council for the Arts and Consulate General of Canada in Sydney.

RE-DEFINING LOCALNESS
Thursday November 25 | 1-2.30pm
Free: online via Zoom. REGISTER 

What does it mean for dance artists to be IN a place when they are not OF that place, and when the dancing body is never of only one place? What does it mean to work in-situ, site-responsively and contextually? What does it mean, for a place, to welcome, to host, to make present (without necessarily presenting) artists and their bodies of thought?
With Masako Masashita (IT) and Roberto Cassarotto (IT), Amaara Raheem (AUS), Gareth Hart (AUS), Dayna Szyndrowski (VAN), Lindsay Delaronde (VAN), facilitated by Norman Armour.

ASIAN ARTISTS’ ECOLOGIES- SHARED STORIES/TOKENIZING CONTEXTS
Thursday November 25 | 4-5.30pm
Free: online via Zoom. REGISTER 

Artists from Asian diasporas are not always seen on main stages, their art is considered ‘traditional’ and their voices rarely included in local dance ecologies. With this artist-centric panel, we take a look at the realities Asian artists are faced with in Vancouver, Melbourne and Singapore.
With Nirmala Seshandri (SN), Priya Srinivasan (AUS) and Bageshree Vaze (CAN).

JEANETTE KOTOWICH
KWE – DIGITAL OFFERING
Thursday November 25 | 7pm
Livestream
Free: REGISTER

Jeanette Kotowich’s work reflects Nêhiyaw/Métis cosmology within the context of contemporary dance, performance, and Indigenous futurism. KWE is the current research project being held by Jeanette in collaboration with Stephanie Cyr, Olivia Shaffer, Tamar Tabori and contributing artistic designers. KWE derived from iskwêw (femme Spirit) and iskotêw (fire) – it provides a fluid container to intentionally define and amplify iskwêwak sovereignty and dismantle dominant colonial and patriarchal narratives with vulnerability, courage and heart.

A recording of the livestream will also be available as part of the Digital DIV Package (see above).

We are bodies seeking sovereignty, imperfectly tethered to homelands near and far… Containers of complex histories, tears, and joy… We journey through liminal territories of vulnerability and strength. We embrace multiplicity and settle into the untamed knowing of our courageous hearts. Harnessing bravery, we weave our presence into vast futures.

DANCE AND WRITING AS REFLECTIVE SPACES FOR EMERGING ARTISTS
Friday November 26 | 10-11am
Free: online via zoom. REGISTER
As part of Re-centering/Margins residencies produced by Dance West Network , emerging dance artists of colour were offered the opportunity to invite emerging writers of colour to accompany their in-studio processes. Working with this form of active and creative documentation has opened new paths of exploration, reflection and introspection, for both dancers and writers. Please join this conversation as they reflect on these spaces between and of creative exploration which may prove useful tools for future inspirations.
With Katie Cassady, Elysse Cloma, Jessica McMann, Haliehana Stepetin, Christian Vistan. Facilitated by Jane Gabriels and Simran Sachar.
In partnership with Dance West Network

CURATING & PRESENTING DANCE DIGITALLY – PROBLEMS, TROUBLES AND POTENTIALS
Friday November 26 | 11am-12.30pm
Free: online via Zoom  REGISTER 

The pandemic has affected dance in its very DNA – not much dance can happen without the touch and the breath of the other (be it that of a dancing partner or that of the audience). But is zoom-ified dance all that dance can do to project itself in a future world where digitality will continue to occupy increasingly and insidiously bodies, embodiment and audience expectations? Failure of imagination or potentialities yet to discover?
With Mette Edvardsten (NO), Josh Martin (VAN) and Cathy Levy (VAN), facilitated by Laurie Uprichard (USA/IRL).

YOU ARE NOT ALONE – COMMUNITIES OF/IN ABSENCE
A suite of Vancouver artist-led conversations on what makes community and communitas in pandemic times.
Free: Online via Zoom: REGISTER

Friday November 26 | 1-2.30pm Making Ceremony led by Michelle Olson, Raven Spirit Dance
Saturday November 27 | 1-2.30pm Starting Off – Emerging through an Emergency moderated by Josh Martin & Lisa Gelley, Company 605
Thursday December 2 | 1-2.30pm Generosity and sensitivity in times of pressure and policing facilitated by Arash Khakpour, The Biting School

AND+ NETWORK FOCUS- UNTANGLING ASIA
Friday November 26 | 5-6pm
Free: Online via Zoom REGISTER 

What would a Vancouver-based artist need to know if they wanted to access and connect to the Asian independent dance context? In this knowledge sharing session, members of the Asia Network for Dance AND+ will answer artists’ practical questions and share expert and situated knowledge about the many layers and realities of the Asian independent dance ecologies.
With Anna Chan (HK), Karen Cheung (HK), Bilqis Hijjas (MY), Faith Tan (SN), facilitated by Alvin Tolentino.

FUTURE LEISURE
ESCAPE
Friday-Sunday November 26-28 | 12 midnight, 12.45am, 1.30am, 2.15am
Free: VERY limited capacity. REGISTER

Escape is a one-on-one interactive performance delivered by phone. Exploring themes of escapism, psychogeography, corporeality and the dissociation from the body that comes with an increase of online interaction, this work is an individualized experience which acts as a choreographic score that can be physicalized by the audience member. Beginning with a series of text messages, the work ends with a final monologue and video delivered by phone and online.
Duration: 30 minutes | Text/video: Julianne Chapple | Performance: Maxine Chadburn, Ed Spence, Jen Yan

SYMMETRY, NEGATIVE SPACE, CONTINUITY
Sunday November 28 | 3pm
Online via Zoom
Free: REGISTER
Margaret and Andrew Grenier of the Dancers of Damelahamid will present a workshop on Northwest Coast Formline design and its connection to movement. Through visual art, Northwest Coast dance will be framed within the design concepts and conventions of this artform. How the knowledge is embodied and placed in relation to this framework will reveal how we hold space for one another.

FIELD | PRACTICE | CONTEXT
Friday December 3 | 2-4pm
Free via Zoom: REGISTER
An experimental conversation series facilitated by P. Megan Andrews: #4: practicing performing / performing practice.

A special Dance In Vancouver edition reflecting on practice and relationality through the disorientation project. With guest conversationalists Angela Joosse, Natalia Esling and other project companions, and inviting participant contributions to the conversation.

How are you practicing? What are the forces and relations that activate your practice? What frames reveal or conceal your work? How are you engaging your ethics of practice with respect to current contexts? How do these shifting contexts both collapse and expand possibility for your work?

 

Please note the program is subject to change. This event will follow full health and safety protocols in line with directives from public health authorities and BC’s Restart Plan.

Photos: Anouk Froidevaux/Daniel Froidevaux; Action at a Distance/Ionut Rusu; Co.Erasga/Yasuhiro Okada; Kelly McInnes/Sophia Wolfe; MascallDance/Ame Henderson

Sponsors

Presented with: