Global Dance Connections 2014-2015

Our Global Dance Connections series features boundary-busting contemporary dance created by Canadian and international artists.

Upcoming Shows

Serge Bennathan | Les Productions Figlio (Vancouver)
Monsieur Auburtin
Thursday-Saturday March 26-28, 8pm
Post-show artist talkback March 27

Presented with Chutzpah!PLUS

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Monsieur Auburtin: photo Michael Slobodian

Photo Michael Slobodian

Serge Bennathan’s new autobiographical work is a perceptive and moving look at a life lived through dance. From his very first dance class at the age of 7 in France with his teacher Monsieur Auburtin, to encounters with dance icons such as Roland Petit and Rudolph Nureyev, Bennathan revisits the places and people that have shaped his career, in a richly textured journey layered with personal memories and anecdotes. Witty, charming and fiercely intelligent, this magnetic performer (joined on stage by dancers Erin Drumheller and Kim Stevenson) meshes movement, text and visual media with live music composed by Bertrand Chenier, to create a love song to all those whose art demands courage, self-denial, passion and joy.

Serge Bennathan’s critically acclaimed choreography has been seen throughout Canada, Europe, South America, and Asia. His collaborations and commissions include the Flanders Opera, Grand Théâtre de Genève, the Metropolitan Opera Company, the Canadian Opera Company, National Ballet of Canada, Ballet BC, Les Ballets de Monte Carlo and others. The Artistic Director of Dancemakers from 1990 – 2006, he formed Les Productions Figlio in Vancouver in 2007, and is also a published writer and painter.

Duration: TBA


Past Shows

Ballet Preljocaj (France)
Empty moves (parts I, II & III)
Thursday-Friday September 25-26, 8pm
Post-show artist talkback September 26

Ballet Preljocaj by Jean-Claude Carbonne

Internationally celebrated choreographer Angelin Preljocaj’s Empty moves 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 and new expressions of phrasing, 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.

Angelin Preljocaj was born in France to Albanian parents. He began studying classical ballet before turning to contemporary dance, and in 1980 went to New York to train with Merce Cunningham. He worked with Viola Farber, Quentin Rouillier and Dominique Bagouet before founding his own company in 1984. Since then Preljocaj has become one of the best known choreographers in the world: he has created over 48 works, including acclaimed stagings of classics such as Les Noces, Snow White and Roméo et Juliette. His productions are part of the repertoire of leading companies internationally, many of which also commission original pieces from him, notably La Scala Milan, the New York City Ballet, the Staatsoper in Berlin and the Paris Opera Ballet.  He has received numerous awards, and is the recipient of France’s highest decorations including Chevalier de la Légion dʼhonneur, Officier des Arts et des Lettres and Officier de lʼordre du Mérite.  In 2014 he received the Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for lifetime achievement. Since 2006, Ballet Preljocaj and its 24 dancers have resided at the Pavillon Noir National Choreographic Centre in Aix-en-Provence, a building entirely dedicated to dance, with Preljocaj as its artistic director.

More details

Video trailer

Interview with Angelin Preljocaj

Blog post: Abstract Art Might Make Us Uneasy

All three parts are performed on both evenings
Duration: 105 minutes (no intermission)
Photo Jean-Claude Carbonne

Presented through a partnership with Quartiers Danses Festival

Quartiers Danses  


Compagnie Gilles Jobin (Switzerland)
Thursday-Saturday October 16-18, 8pm
Post-show artist talkback October 17

Cie Gilles Jobin photo Gregory Batardon

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.

Gilles Jobin was born in Geneva and trained at the Rosella Hightower International Dance Centre in Cannes and at the Ballet Junior of Geneva. He danced for several contemporary dance companies such as Fabienne Berger and Philippe Saire in Switzerland, and Angels Margarit in Spain. He began choreographing in 1995 and since then has made eighteen works, including commissions for major companies such as Ballet du Grand Théâtre in Geneva and the Gulbenkian Ballet. His work has been seen at major venues and festivals all over Europe and his company, established in 1995, has toured to 30 countries. Gilles Jobin has made his company and his Geneva headquarters, Studios 44, a pioneering place for the recognition of contemporary dance in Switzerland, hosting international professional exchanges, daily training for dancers, educational activities and capacity building, workshops, artistic residencies, as well as projects with countries from the Southern hemisphere.

More details


Duration: 50 minutes
Photo Gregory Batardon



Lisbeth Gruwez | Voetvolk (Belgium)
It’s going to get worse and worse and worse, my friend
Thursday-Saturday January 22-24, 8pm
Post-show artist talkback January 23

Presented with the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

Lisbeth Gruwez: photo Luc Depreitere

Photo by Luc Depreitere

A speech can be a mighty weapon, rallying crowds and unleashing feverish action, and Lisbeth Gruwez’s brilliantly conceived solo exposes the transformation of both the speaker and the audience. Taking fragments from a recording by ultraconservative American televangelist Jimmy Swaggert, she dances the growing frenzy of ecstatic speaking. Initially the speech is friendly and pacifying, but from the compulsive desire to convince comes growing despair, eventually betraying its deepest nature: violence. Gruwez exploits the dialogue between dance and sound, words and gesture, to reveal the nature of fanaticism, the dangerous charisma of orators, and their hypnotic hold over listeners, in a spellbinding performance which has toured the world to critical acclaim.

Hailing from Belgium, Lisbeth Gruwez is trained in both ballet and contemporary dance. Together with musician and performer Maarten Van Cauwenberghe she formed Voetvolk in 2006, and they have since created dance performances such as Forever Overhead (2007), Birth of Prey (2008), HeroNeroZero (2010), and AH/HA (2014).

Video trailer

On the blog: The Power of Words and Motion

Duration: 50 minutes

PuSh International Performing Arts Festival


Faustin Linyekula | Studios Kabako (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Le Cargo
Thursday-Saturday January 29-31, 8pm
Post-show artist talkback January 30

Presented with the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

Le Cargo by Agathe Poupeney

Photo Agathe Poupeney

The performances of Congolese choreographer Faustin Linyekula are indelibly etched by the experiences of his long-suffering homeland, and in this raw and intimate autobiographical solo he traces his own personal story, and his relationship to dance. Bearing witness to decades of war and terror through a potent blend of dance, song, music and storytelling, Linyekula counters these dark images with those of resourcefulness, hope, and a profound belief in the role of art as an antidote to crisis and a reaffirmation of life, as he travels a bold path of self-reflection and discovery.

Residing in Kisangani, in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Faustin Linyekula heads Studios Kabako, a training and production space dedicated to nurturing young artists in the field of dance, theatre, music and film. As a performer, he focuses on issues of memory and cultural legacy, exploring the effects of war, poverty and oppression on himself and his people. With Studios Kabako he has presented works in Africa, Europe and North America, appearing in many prestigious venues and festivals, including the Avignon Festival, Dance Umbrella in London and Comédie Française in Paris. After Vancouver, Le Cargo travels to the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

Video trailer

On the blog: The Power of Words and Motion

Duration: 60 minutes

PuSh International Performing Arts Festival


MACHiNENOiSY (Vancouver)
Time Machine
Wednesday-Saturday February 4-7, 8pm
Post-show artist talkback February 5

Presented with the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

Time Machine photo Chris Randle

Photo Chris Randle

MACHiNENOiSY’s unique and exciting approach to performance has marked the company as an innovator and a courageous rule-breaker. This ambitious new creation by Co-Artistic Directors Delia Brett and Daelik brings together seven professional dancers and eight children aged between 5 and 13, to make a thought-provoking and original work in collaboration with sculptor/costume artist Natalie Purschwitz. Contrasting the innate knowing of children with the acquired knowledge of adults, and examining how time and experience shape and distort our bodies, Time Machine seeks to inspire a new perspective and to touch something unknown and extraordinary.

Co-directed by Delia Brett and Daelik, MACHiNENOiSY is a Vancouver-based contemporary dance company that specializes in works of collaboration. In their work, the company seeks to transcend our received ideas about the difference between theatre and dance. The company has toured throughout Canada, the US and Europe.

Blog post: The Body as a Time Machine

Duration: 60 minutes

PuSh International Performing Arts Festival