Global Dance Connections 2015-2016

Our Global Dance Connections series has finished for the season. 2016-2017 details coming soon!

Past Shows

Co.ERASGA | Pichet Klunchun Dance Company
Unwrapping Culture   
Thursday-Saturday October 15-17, 8pm
Scotiabank Dance Centre
Post-show artist talkback October 16

Presented through the Artist-in-Residence program

Unwrapping Culture Photo Chris Randle

Unwrapping Culture brings together two exceptional male artists: Filipino-Canadian Alvin Erasga Tolentino, whose sophisticated works reflect on personal and cultural identity, and Pichet Klunchun, an outstanding exponent of the Thai classical dance style of Khon, who is known internationally for contemporizing this ancient form. Their first collaboration combines the technique, theatricality and storytelling elements of Khon with the paraphernalia of today’s rampant materialism to create a devastating critique of the corruption of authentic Thai culture by the forces of commercialization, in a passionate and bitingly funny piece which immerses us in the conflict between traditional and modern. 



Note: the audience is free to move around the space during the performance. There will be a limited number of seats for those that need them.

Duration: approx 60 minutes
Photo: Chris Randle


Jan Martens
The Dog Days Are Over
Thursday-Saturday October 29-31, 8pm
Scotiabank Dance Centre
Post-show artist talkback October 30

The Dog Days Are Over Photo Piet Goethals

In The Dog Days Are Over, eight dancers surrender to one act: the jump. For 70 extreme, exhausting minutes they bounce, hop and leap through complicated choreographic patterns of geometrical precision, in a repetitive bruising battle that demands extraordinary stamina, coordination and concentration. Übertalented Belgian choreographer Jan Martens is renowned for provocative and highly physical creations, and this is perhaps his most audacious work to date, prompting debate on the role of contemporary dance, the thin line between art and entertainment, and the complicity of the audience, as we watch the dancers striving before us like gladiators in an arena. 


Georgia Straight preview

On the blog: Jan Martens and the Beauty of the Imperfect

Duration: 70 minutes
Photo Piet Goethals


Raven Spirit Dance
Earth Song
Thursday-Saturday November 26-28, 8pm
Scotiabank Dance Centre
Post-show artist talkback November 27

Presented with Raven Spirit Dance

Northern Journey Photo Chris Randle

A mixed bill of contemporary Aboriginal dance works which move from spirit to form through currents of spatial tension, and traverse territories of impulse and memory, singing the land and body.  Michelle Olson’s Northern Journey is inspired by the land we carry inside of us. This internal landscape carves out the pathways that lead to our animal instinct and to images that hold our human experience.  Starr Muranko’s Spine of the Mother brings together Indigenous artists from Canada and Peru to trace the inner terrain of our bodies as women, while creating ritual which spans mountain ranges we have shared for millennia. An addition to this program is Frost Exploding Trees Moon, choreographed by Floyd Favel and Michelle Olson, a piece which follow the breath, instinct and impulse of a woman on her northern trapline.
Photo Chris Randle


Aakash Odedra Company
Murmur Inked
Tuesday-Wednesday January 19-20, 8pm
Vancouver Playhouse
Post-show artist talkback January 20

Presented with the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

Inked Photo Sean Goldthorpe

Trained initially in the classical Indian styles of Kathak and Bharata Natyam, Aakash Odedra has quickly become one of the new stars of British dance, and these two solos demonstrate his distinctive contemporary movement language, astounding technical abilities and magnetic stage presence.  Murmur, a collaboration with Australian choreographer Lewis Major, delves into the warped realities experienced by dyslexics, in a breathtakingly beautiful fusion of dance, light, sound and cutting edge technology. Inked, created by French/Belgian choreographer Damien Jalet, is inspired by Odedra’s grandmother’s tattoos and investigates notions of identity and belonging, as the body becomes marked and metamorphosed by its journey through a ritualised space. 


Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes including intermission
Photo Sean Goldthorpe

PuSh International Performing Arts Festival            


Compagnie Nacera Belaza
Le Temps scellé
Wednesday-Friday January 27-29, 8pm
Scotiabank Dance Centre
Post-show artist talkback January 28

Presented with the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival


Cie Nacera Belaza Photo Antonin Pons Braley

French-Algerian choreographer Nacera Belaza has been creating works for her critically acclaimed company since 1989, developing a singular form of meditative minimalism which creates a wealth of striking images. Le Temps scellé (The Sealed Time) immerses us in Belaza’s evocative world: the choreography has a mesmerising quality which commands our attention with its disciplined simplicity and focused intensity, at times erupting into frenzied bursts of energy, but holding an underlying sensuality that is truly captivating. Light and darkness, time and space, mysticism and spirituality, are all woven together with an acute sense of the now. 

BLOG: Release, Receive, Become: The Hypnotic Work of Nacera Belaza


Duration: 45 minutes
Photo Antonin Pons Braley

PuSh International Performing Arts Festival         

Liz Santoro/Pierre Godard: Le principe d’incertitude
Relative Collider
Thursday-Saturday February 4-6, 8pm
Scotiabank Dance Centre
Post-show artist talkback February 5

Presented with the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

Relative Collider Photo Ian Douglas

Drawing on elements of neuroscience, mathematics and linguistics, award-winning choreographers Liz Santoro and Pierre Godard’s Relative Collider dissects the tensions and complicity between performer and audience, the observed and the observer. The dancers begin with deceptively simple motions to the ticking of a metronome, and slowly build up to increasingly athletic movements and complex rhythmic patterns. Comparing structure and chaos, numbers and words, gestures and expressions, the work manipulates the interplay of different waves of energy, sound and attention to engage us in the ‘collision of watching’. Spare, rigorous and precise, Relative Collider conveys its crystalline logic with intelligence and style. 


Duration: 45 minutes
Photo Ian Douglas

PuSh International Performing Arts Festival        

Words in Motion
Friday-Saturday March 18-19, 7.30pm
Chan Centre at UBC, Telus Studio Theatre
Post-show artist talkback March 19

A Dance Centre/Chan Centre co-production
Presented by the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts

Words in Motion image by Copilot Design

What happens when words come to life? Three writers and three choreographers work in pairs to create new works combining the cerebral and the physical. Choreographer Olivia C. Davies explores narrative through movement, using contemporary Aboriginal dance theatre as her launch point; Anusha Fernando’s training in classical Indian Bharata Natyam dance reflects a tradition steeped in storytelling; and Paraskevas Terezakis’s long history of interdisciplinary collaboration has incorporated a vast array of styles and methods. With their writing partners – Carmen Aguirre, Aislinn Hunter and Nancy Lee respectively - these diverse artists bring three very different visions to the marriage of words and movement. 


Duration: approx 75 minutes
Image: Copilot Design


Compagnie Thor | Thierry Smits
Thursday-Saturday May 5-7, 8pm
Scotiabank Dance Centre
Post-show artist talkback May 6

ReVoLt Photo Hichem Dahes

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.

On the blog: The Body as a Political Force: The Work of Thierry Smits

Duration: 50 minutes 
Photo Hichem Dahes