The fourth edition of Open Stage features a program of exciting and varied dance works by CollabArt Creations, Francesca Vergara, Jennifer McLeish-Lewis & James-Amzin Nahirnick, Kenzie Skoglund & Sam Meadahl, and Linda Hayes. Open Stage is a program of The Dance Centre, offering the opportunity for dance artists to present short works in an uncurated, shared performance.
CollabArt Creations presents Threadcount, an ensemble work which examines the tension between our love for fashion and clothing, and its cost to the planet. Choreographed by Artistic Director Kylah Powell, the work features eight dancers, and music by Michael Wall. Powell founded CollabArt Creations in 2005 and has presented many works, focussing most recently on the environment.
Francesca Vergara’s Thank you for choosing to stay looks at the impact of infidelity in a relationship, reflecting on heartache, healing and forgiveness. This duet is choreographed by Francesca Vergara and performed by Olivia Cesarano and Daryk Richards. Vergara trained at Victoria School of the Arts and Stacey Tookey’s The Bridge program in New Jersey, and is currently in her second year with Lamondance.
Jennifer McLeish-Lewis & James-Amzin Nahirnick present To Fetch a Pail of Water. Inspired by the children’s nursery rhyme Jack and Jill, the work is performed with music improvised live by Stefan Smulovitz. McLeish-Lewis is a dance artist who performs, choreographs and teaches. Nahirnick is a contemporary dancer, tap dancer and improviser from Vancouver Island, and a 2020 graduate of Modus Operandi Contemporary Dance Training Program.
Kenzie Skoglund and Sam Meadahl’s A Conversation is a collaboration between disciplines. Through dance with live and pre-recorded electroacoustic music, it questions the support and control necessary to drive relationships, opening a dialogue amongst performers and audience. Both artists are Simon Fraser University BFA graduates, and first collaborated on The Invitation at Nuit Blanche Winnipeg.
Linda Hayes presents a pair of flamenco fusion duets: Rejection traces a man’s rejection of his sweetheart; and Embrace is a vibrant work for two women. A dance and music educator, performer and choreographer for over 25 years, Hayes visits Spain yearly to train and perform.
Photos: CollabArt Creations/Kylah Powell; Counterbalance/Mikela Vuorensivu; Francesca Vergara/Francesca Vergara; Jennifer McLeish-Lewis and James-Amzin Nahirnick/Erik Zennstrom; Linda Hayes/Chris Randle