In this DanceLab, Shot of Scotch Vancouver is experimenting with innovative ways to convey narrative and theme through Scottish Highland dance. The company is collaborating with musicians and an actor to research ways to deepen the narrative of what will become its first full-length work, which focuses on the Scottish legends that are attached to traditional Highland dancing, and the historical events of the Jacobite Rebellion and the Battle of Culloden in the 18th century. How and why are these stories told in modern Highland dance?
In this online sharing, the artists will show some recorded footage of their research, and lead a discussion and Q&A about the project.
Dancers: Shannon Cressey, Lindsay Ellis, Megan Hall, Meghan Pike, Danielle Senyk
Musicians: Tim Fanning, Robyn Carrigan, Stephanie Cadman
Actor: Alison Ward
Director/Choreographer: Susan Nase
“In its traditional form, Highland dance is not an expressive dance form. It is athletic, virtuosic and powerful, but the movements are heavily structured, and the technique is rigid. The stories and history of the dance form, however, are rich, expressive and captivating. After the Highlanders were decimated at the Battle of Culloden in 1746, the British government banned kilts and bagpipes and set out to destroy a clan system that for centuries had sustained a culture, a language and a unique way of life. In our work, we are tackling questions about what is true: How and why do we tell these stories in modern High-land dance? Can we reclaim Scottish culture through dance?”
Susan Nase (Director/Choreographer) was a competitive Highland dancer for over 15 years, competing at the provincial, national and world level championships and became a certified teacher with the Scottish Dance Teachers Alliance in 1997. She is a co-founder of Shot of Scotch, a professional premier-level Scottish highland dance performance company with branches in New York City and Vancouver. Under Susan’s artistic direction, Shot of Scotch Vancouver strives to create new, exciting, contemporary dance pieces maintaining a high standard of modern-day technique, but also remaining true to the deep Scottish roots of the centuries old art form of Highland dance.
This online event has two parts:
In advance of the zoom event, please watch a short video of studio rehearsal footage. A link to watch will be sent out by email the day prior to the event, and again 90 minutes prior.
The discussion will then take place over Zoom on August 5, starting at 5pm PST. The Zoom link will be shared at the same time as the video link above.