Running since 1997, Dance In Vancouver is the leading opportunity for presenters from across North America and around the world to view one of the most vibrant dance scenes in Canada – the eclectic contemporary dance of the West Coast.
The 13th biennial Dance In Vancouver will be a gathering of curated conversations, provocations and dance encounters featuring 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.
These are no ordinary times. But hasn’t this always been our problem?
Time. And what we have made of it. With it.
But these are times to ask ourselves what we want to change, what we want to let go of?
It is time now for business as unusual:
for bodies of colour, and bodies of unbelonging for slow listening, slow curating, slow institution-ing
for all the ‘others’ who do not fit in binaries in linearities in questionnaires
for all the stories left out or never invited in
for those whose times is a-contemporary and for those whose space is not the stage
for circles and rituals and deep listening
Being stripped of the transactional exchange that seems to be the central engine of our sector has created space for us to drop into the why. Why gather? Why witness? Why dance?
We invite you to gather with us to listen, to learn and to discover through dance what this moment in time is whispering to us all.
Guest International Curator: Angela Conquet, Melbourne, Australia
Guest Co-Curators: Michelle Olson & Starr Muranko, Raven Spirit Dance, Vancouver, Canada
The Dance In Vancouver presenter program will be delivered digitally through an online platform. For one set price you can join us for a stimulating and varied selection of conversations, artist provocations, digital creations and streams! All content will be available online until December 4, 2021 so no matter where you are in the world, you can catch up with (and re-watch) DIV events.
Local presenters who wish to attend in-person events may purchase tickets at a discounted rate: contact us for details. Please note that in order to keep everyone as safe as possible, we are not hosting any networking or social gatherings for this edition.
All times are PST. Sessions will be available on our digital platform on demand until December 4.
ARTIST & PRESENTER ENCOUNTERS
MAPPING MINE UPON YOURS
Conceived by Justine A Chambers with Alana Gerecke
This project is an invitation for presenters and artists to perform a unison walking score together in their respective cities. It is a re-orientation of the presenter/artist relationship away from transactional, and towards a shared embodied experience. After registering, artists and presenters can contact people they want to have a walk with, and will receive the map and the score via email. Enjoy!
WHAT DO YOU CARE ABOUT RIGHT NOW?
Hosted by Justine A Chambers
What do you care about right now? is a discursive engagement to come into relationship beyond the artwork and modes of production that typically drive conversations between artists and presenters. It is an opportunity to share the things we love, have seen and are consumed with at this moment. It is a poetic sharing of resources, desires and dreams through text messages (sms).
Thursday November 25: 10am (session 1), 11am (session 2)
Hosted by Joyce Rosario, Angela Conquet and Miriam Ginestier
Table Talks are directly inspired by Montreal-based Studio 303’s À Table. This initiative is a unique artist-presenter networking session set up, which privileges meaningful dialogue over traditional speed-dating, pitching or schmoozing formats. Presenters here are invited to join as resource professionals at the artists’ service and not as buyers, ready to engage in conversation and not in transaction. Using a digital format for Dance in Vancouver, local artists are invited to initiate, join or eavesdrop on conversations with them. The idea is to foster human connection, to help artists develop meaningful professional relationships. Artists are discouraged from pitching.
Thursday November 25 & Friday November 26, 2.20-3.30pm
SWEET DISCOMFORT – PROVOCATIONS FOR PRESENTERS
Sweet Discomfort is an invitation crafted by the three co-curators of this year’s DIV to pause, reflect and recalibrate. This pandemic has recently forced us to stop and question our qualities of attention and intention. It is obvious that ‘something’ needs to change : in how we work, how we are responsible and to whom we are accountable. In these present moments of imagining what next lies the ambition of this opportunity: to look at change and ask WHAT HAS CHANGED? – WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE? – WHAT CAN YOU CHANGE? Working with and through a suite of provocations set to cause some sweet yet positive discomfort, we invite you, fellow colleagues, to come together, ‘turn our guts inside out’ and have some frank and constructive conversations about what we can do to shift our gaze, interrogate our role and learn to …learn.
CURATING BODIES OF COLOUR
Hosted by Heather Lamoureux
What concrete changes do we need to contemplate in our dance curatorial and programming practices in order to address curating bodies of colours in a more culturally competent way, making more space for their stories and storytelling without othering, tokenising or exoticising? This will be an exercise in undoing eurocentrism and decolonising corporeality in our understandings of contemporary dance programming.
Saturday November 27, 1-4pm
RE-FUTURING THE INSTITUTION
Hosted by Miriam Ginestier and Andrew Tay
Many of us working in culture seek to expand possibility, dismantle oppression, and subvert normativity. So why is it that more often than not, we get caught up in reinforcing the very systems we criticize? What can we do about it? In this collaborative work session, Miriam and Andrew will guide activities and discussions to (try to) unlock the radical potential of our institutions.
Sunday November 28, 10am-1pm
CONVERSATIONS AND TALKS
WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 24
3-4.30PM WELCOME + OPENING KEYNOTE DIALOGUE
Welcome to Dance In Vancouver
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.
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.
5-6.30PM PRESENTING DANCE REGIONALLY
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.
THURSDAY NOVEMBER 25
1-2.30PM RE-DEFINING LOCALNESS
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.
4-5.30PM ASIAN ARTISTS’ ECOLOGIES- SHARED STORIES/TOKENIZING CONTEXTS
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).
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 26
10-11AM DANCE AND WRITING AS REFLECTIVE SPACES FOR EMERGING ARTISTS
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.
Presented in partnership with Dance West Network
11AM-12.30PM CURATING & PRESENTING DANCE DIGITALLY – PROBLEMS, TROUBLES AND POTENTIALS
The covid 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).
1-2.30PM YOU ARE NOT ALONE – COMMUNITIES OF/IN ABSENCE SERIES #1
Making Ceremony led by Michelle Olson, Raven Spirit Dance
How and when do our dancing bodies cross the threshold into ceremony. What does this mean individually and collectively? What is the role of the audience in this process? By unpacking these concepts, this panel of artists will examine how the contents of their practice lead them deep into the landscape of their own sense ceremony.
5-6PM AND+ NETWORK FOCUS- UNTANGLING ASIA
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.
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 27
1-2.30PM YOU ARE NOT ALONE – COMMUNITIES OF/IN ABSENCE SERIES #2
Starting Off – Emerging through an Emergency moderated by Josh Martin & Lisa Gelley, Company 605
Among many other occupations, there has been a large-scale disruption and upheaval to the profession that many young artists thought they were entering into. The shape and direction of that step into the professional performing arts may have shifted and/or split with the hyper-present realties of a pandemic and global climate change, only further destabilized amidst the simultaneous transformations taking place across the sector as a multitude of counter actions to systemic racism and inequities rightfully disturb the status quo.
With so much talk about “pivoting” as an artist, what is to be said about those who are not carrying many years (or decades even) of a gathered momentum, or a developed creative process, or operating under formulaic production cycle, or singular dissemination model? What about those who are just starting out? How is this moment perceived by those not facing major change so much as a very different beginning than anticipated – for their performing career, or choreographic practice, or to the direction of a new company.
5-6.30PM BUSINESS AS UNUSUAL -TOURING FROM THE MARGINS
The ‘return to normal’ is yet to return and in the meantime, a window is open to explore business as unusual – what would it mean to imagine touring dance differently in a post-pandemic world which will no doubt be more eco-conscious, long-haul touring unfriendly and digitally weary? What strategies and tactics should artists and presenters co-imagine as of now to connect artworks to distant audiences yet remain true to the embodied (a)liveness of the dancing body?
With Ophelia Huang (CH) Daniel Kok (SN), Michelle Olson (CAN), Donna Spencer (CAN) and Robin Poitras (CAN), facilitated by Angela Conquet.
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 28
3-4PM SYMMETRY, NEGATIVE SPACE, CONTINUITY
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.
7.30-8.30PM CLOSING KEYNOTE DIALOGUE
What We Carry with Margaret Grenier (Canada) and Charles Koroneho (New Zealand)
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 closing statement from the DIV curators.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 2
1-2.30PM YOU ARE NOT ALONE – COMMUNITIES OF/IN ABSENCE SERIES #3
Generosity and Sensitivity in Times of Pressure and Policing facilitated by Arash Khakpour, The Biting School
When is an “extreme”, “harsh” or “blunt” work useful in society? Who is to say? When would a “harsh” work be helpful in facilitating healing for the artists and audiences? Facilitated by Arash Khakpour, guest speakers will engage in a conversation around these questions.
A selection of Dance In Vancouver performances and associated films and events will be available for viewing through our digital platform on demand until December 4. Some will be available immediately, and others will be added during DIV. The program includes: Co.ERASGA | Dance West Network studio showing | Future Leisure | Jeanette Kotowich | Kelly McInnes | Mahaila Patterson-O’Brien | MascallDance | Sierra Tasi Baker | Tasha Faye Evans | The Biting School.
JEANETTE KOTOWICH: KWE – Digital Offering
Livestream: Thursday November 25 | 7-7.30PM + on demand to December 4
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 is 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.
FUTURE LEISURE: Escape
Friday-Sunday November 26-28
12 midnight, 12.45AM, 1.30AM, 2.15AM
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
LEE SU-FEH (BATTERY OPERA) Touch Me Hold Me Let Me Go
Sunday November 28 | 1-3PM
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 is open to everyone who is curious about the human body and how it moves in the world: no dance (or IT) experience required.